Lee, J., R. N. Gates, H. Laks, D. C. Drinkwater, E. Rhudis, A. Aharon, A. Ardehali and P. Chang. A comparison of distribution between simultaneously or sequentially delivered antegrade/retrograde blood cardioplegia. Journal Of Cardiac Surgery. 11:111-115, 1996.

Commercially available cardioplegia delivery systems now allow for antegrade (aortic root, coronary ostia, saphenous vein graft) perfusion to occur either sequentially or simultaneous with retrograde (coronary sinus) perfusion. This study was designed to compare the total flow and local distribution of sequential versus simultaneous antegrade/retrograde cardioplegia delivery. Methods: Explanted human hearts diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy underwent a cold cardioplegic arrest and bicaval cardiectomy. Thirty-seven degree centigrade blood cardioplegia containing colored microspheres was then delivered antegrade (red color) at a pressure of 80 mmHg or retrograde (blue color) at a pressure of 40 mmHg. In the sequential group (n = 6), cardioplegia was delivered antegrade and then retrograde for 2 minutes, respectively. For the simultaneous group (n = 6), cardioplegia was delivered both antegrade and retrograde for 2 minutes. The ventricular myocardium was then sampled at 12 representative sites to determine regional cardioplegic flow. Results: Mean total cardioplegia delivery/minute was 0.69 +/- 0.62 mL/g per minute for sequential cardioplegia, and 0.46 +/- 0.19 mL/g per minute for simultaneous cardioplegia (p > 0.05, NS). At the 12 ventricular sites sampled, mean regional cardioplegic flow (mL/g per min) was in general slightly greater for sequential delivery. However, this was not statistically significant (p > 0.05, NS). Conclusion: The data suggest that there may be a slight advantage in total cardioplegia delivery and regional cardioplegia delivery when using sequential rather than simultaneous cardioplegia delivery. However, this difference was not statistically significant and is likely not of clinical significance. Therefore, we would recommend using either sequential or simultaneous antegrade/retrograde cardioplegia based upon whichever technique facilitates the conduct of the individual operation.