Nitric Oxide pp 545-570 | Cite as

The Role of Nitric Oxide in Cardiac Ischaemia-Reperfusion

  • P. A. MacCarthy
  • A. M. Shah
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 143)


Myocardial ischaemia, resulting mainly from atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, is the most common pathology in clinical cardiology and is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the developed world. Iatrogenic myocardial ischaemia is also commonly encountered clinically, especially in the context of cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology procedures, such as percutaneous balloon angioplasty. There have been great advances in the clinical management of myocardial ischaemia over the last 2–3 decades. In particular, the benefits of early reperfusion following coronary occlusion have become well established. Such reperfusion is usually achieved in the clinical setting with thrombolytic drugs (or with balloon angioplasty, in recent years) and translates into a substantial improvement in patient survival (GISSI 1986; ISIS 1988). However, it has also been realised that reperfusion of ischaemic myocardium may itself cause detrimental effects in the tissue to which blood flow is being restored (BRAUNWALD and KLONER 1985).


Nitric Oxide Nitric Oxide Coronary Flow Nitric Oxide Donor Ischaemic Precondition 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. MacCarthy
  • A. M. Shah

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