Coronary perfusate composition influences diastolic properties, myocardial water content, and histologic characteristics of the rat left ventricle

Joanne P. Starr, Chao Xiang Jia, Mehrdad M.R. Amirhamzeh, David G. Rabkin, Joseph P. Hart, Daphne T. Hsu, Peter E. Fisher, Matthias Szabolcs, Henry M. Spotnitz

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Background. Recent studies found that edema, histology, and left ventricular diastolic compliance exhibit quantitative relationships in rats. Edema due to low osmolarity coronary perfusates increases myocardial water content and histologic edema score and decreases left ventricular filling. The present study examined effects of perfusate osmolarity and chemical composition on rat hearts. Methods. Arrested American Cancer Institute (ACI) rat hearts (4°C) were perfused with different cardioplegia solutions, including Plegisol (289 mOsm/L), dilute Plegisol (172 mOsm/L), Stanford solution (409 mOsm/L), and University of Wisconsin solution (315 mOsm/L). Controls had blood perfusion (310 mOsm/L). Postmortem left ventricular pressure- volume curves and myocardial water content were measured. After glutaraldehyde or formalin fixation, dehydration, and paraffin embedding, edema was graded subjectively. Results. Myocardial water content reflected perfusate osmolarity, being lowest in Stanford and University of Wisconsin solutions (p < 0.05 versus other groups) and highest in dilute Plegisol (P < 0.05). Left ventricular filling volumes were smallest in dilute Plegisol and Plegisol (p < 0.05). Osmolarity was not a major determinant of myocardial edema grade, which was highest with University of Wisconsin solution and dilute Plegisol (p < 0.05 versus other groups). Conclusions. Perfusate osmolarity determined myocardial water content and left ventricular filling volume. However, perfusate chemical composition influenced the histologic appearance of edema. Pathologic grading of edema can be influenced by factors other than osmolarity alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-930
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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