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Veno-occlusive unloading of the heart reduces infarct size in experimental ischemia-reperfusion

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Mechanical unloading of the left ventricle reduces infarct size after acute myocardial infarction by reducing cardiac work. Left ventricular veno-occlusive unloading reduces cardiac work and may reduce ischemia and reperfusion injury. In a porcine model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury we randomized 18 pigs to either control or veno-occlusive unloading using a balloon engaged from the femoral vein into the inferior caval vein and inflated at onset of ischemia. Evans blue and 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride were used to determine the myocardial area at risk and infarct size, respectively. Pressure-volume loops were recorded to calculate cardiac work, left ventricular (LV) volumes and ejection fraction. Veno-occlusive unloading reduced infarct size compared with controls (Unloading 13.9 ± 8.2% versus Control 22.4 ± 6.6%; p = 0.04). Unloading increased myocardial salvage (54.8 ± 23.4% vs 28.5 ± 14.0%; p = 0.02), while the area at risk was similar (28.4 ± 6.7% vs 27.4 ± 5.8%; p = 0.74). LV ejection fraction was preserved in the unloaded group, while the control group showed a reduced LV ejection fraction. Veno-occlusive unloading reduced myocardial infarct size and preserved LV ejection fraction in an experimental acute ischemia-reperfusion model. This proof-of-concept study demonstrated the potential of veno-occlusive unloading as an adjunctive cardioprotective therapy in patients undergoing revascularization for acute myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4483
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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