This study compares the effects of perfluorochemical artificial blood versus whole blood on the systolic and diastolic function of regionally ischemic myocardial preparations. Regional ischemia was produced by ligation of the circumflex coronary artery in isolated, blood-perfused rabbit hearts. Three minutes after occlusion, half the hearts were switched from the blood perfusate to perfluorochemical artificial blood; the other half continued to be perfused with blood. Isovolumic left ventricular (LV) developed pressure, dP/dt and resting pressure were monitored before, and for 2 hours after coronary occlusion. After 90 minutes of regional ischemia, perfluorochemical-treated hearts exhibited significantly greater developed pressure than those perfused with blood (78±6% versus 61±5% of preligation values; P < 0.05). At the end of the experiment, LV dP/dt was 21% greater in the perfluorochemical-perfused group than in the blood-perfused group (74±8% versus 53±10%; P < 0.01). Perfluorochemical perfusion also preserved diastolic function by preventing the 58% increase in left ventricular chamber stiffness (i.e., resting pressure; P < 0.01) associated with circumflex ligation. Thus, in the present model of regional ischemia, perfluorochemical artificial blood is significantly better than blood at maintaining both systolic and diastolic myocardial function after a major coronary artery has been occluded.
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