Hasegawa, T., A. Kimura, R. Miyataka, M. Inagaki and K. Ishikawa. Basic fibroblast growth factor increases regional myocardial blood flow and salvages myocardium in the infarct border zone in a rabbit model of acute myocardial infarction. Angiology. 50:487-495, 1999.

Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has been shown by some to promote angiogenesis and myocardial salvage in experimentally induced acute myocardial infarction. Although these findings have spurred much clinical interest, they are not universally observed, and the true efficacy of bFGF remains unclear. The authors used a rabbit model of acute myocardial infarction to further elucidate the effects of bFGF on acutely infarcted myocardium containing few collaterals. Myocardial infarction was evoked by ligation of the left coronary artery. Prior to ligation, either 100 mu g of bFGF (bFGF group; n = 15) or physiological saline (control group; n = 22) was injected into the myocardium supplied by the ligated artery. With use of nonradioactive colored microspheres, regional blood flow (Qm) was measured before, immediately after, and 4 weeks after coronary artery ligation. Infarct and border zone sizes were measured in cross-sectional slices of the resected hearts, and the amount of viable myocardium (myocardium score) and the extent of fibrosis were histologically determined in each area. Four weeks after ligation, Qm values in the infarcted area did not significantly differ between the bFGF and control groups (0.54 +/- 0.36 vs 0.48 +/- 0.30 mL/min/g); in the border zone, Qm tended to be higher in the bFGF group (3.39 +/- 2.68 vs 1.47 +/- 0.80 mL/min/g), but the difference was not significant; finally in the noninfarcted area, Qm was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the bFGF group (6.06 +/- 3.85 vs 2.09 +/- 0.82 mL/min/g). There was no significant difference in the amount of viable myocardium or the extent of fibrosis in the infarcted areas of the two groups. In the border zone, however, the amount of viable myocardium was significantly (p < 0.005) larger in the bFGF group (61.8 +/- 8.5% vs 35.8 +/- 20.3% of the visual field). Likewise, as graded on a scale from 0 to 5, the extent of fibrosis was significantly (p < 0.005) less in the bFGF group (2.1 +/- 0.5 vs 3.3 +/- 0.8). In conclusion, injection of bFGF into acutely infarcted myocardium increased blood flow to the noninfarcted area and salvaged the myocardium in the border zone.