Wouters, P. F., M. VandeVelde, H. VanAken and W. Flameng. Ischemic event characteristics determine the extent of myocardial stunning in conscious dogs. Basic Research In Cardiology. 91:140-146, 1996.

Both the severity and duration of postischemic myocardial dysfunction (''stunned'' myocardium) are unpredictable and may vary considerably between subjects that underwent apparently similar ischemic insults. To explain this heterogeneous response of the heart to ischemia and reperfusion, we investigated the determinants of stunning in conscious dogs. Twenty-five dogs were chronically instrumented for measurement of global and regional myocardial performance (wall thickening) and myocardial perfusion (coloured microspheres). A hydraulic occluder was positioned around the LAD coronary artery. Conscious dogs were subjected to acute coronary artery occlusions of predetermined duration (2, 5 and 10 min), followed by complete reperfusion. Multiple regression analysis identified the following variables as determinants of postischemic contractile recovery: 1) the duration of ischemia (p < 0.01), 2) the amount of collateral perfusion (p = 0.01) and 3) left ventricular end-diastolic pressure during ischemia (p < 0.01). Neither the severity of regional dyskinesia during ischemia nor indices of global systolic hemodynamic performance correlated with the rate of recovery. Our data confirm that myocardial stunning relates primarily to the intensity of preceding ischemia. Variations in the preexisting level of collateral perfusion may result in markedly different recovery profiles. Except for LV end-diastolic pressure during ischemia, indices of global and regional cardiac performance fail to predict the severity of postischemic contractile failure.