Post-Contracture Reperfusion: Effect of Elevated Potassium and Verapamil

  • Stanley B. Digerness
  • William G. Tracy
  • Nona F. Andrews
  • John W. Kirklin
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 194)


We have previously reported that ischemic contracture in the isolated rat heart can be reversed and functional recovery significantly improved by reperfusing for a brief period of time with elevated potassium cardioplegic solution, before returning to normal potassium levels 1. Similarly, Lazar et al2 observed that reperfusing an ischemic dog heart with secondary blood cardioplegia resulted in reversal of ischemic damage. Presumably, this allows a return to aerobic metabolism and the re-synthesis of high-energy phosphates without the drain on energy reserves caused by beating. However, we have found that reperfusion must occur soon after the peak of contracture (within 1 to 3 min), or recovery will be poor.


Coronary Flow Reperfusion Period Develop Pressure Balloon Pressure Balloon Volume 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley B. Digerness
    • 1
  • William G. Tracy
    • 1
  • Nona F. Andrews
    • 1
  • John W. Kirklin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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