Grund, F., H. T. Sommerschild, T. Lyberg, K. A. Kirkeboen and A. Ilebekk. Microembolization in pigs: effects on coronary blood flow and myocardial ischemic tolerance. AMERICAN-JOURNAL-OF-PHYSIOLOGY-HEART-AND-CIRCULATORY-PHYSIOLOGY. 46:H533-H542, 1999.

Coronary microembolization has been reported to increase coronary blood flow (CBF) through adenosine release. Because adenosine may increase ischemic tolerance against infarction, we tested the hypothesis that myocardial microembolization, a common finding in patients with ischemic heart disease, induces cardioprotection. Additionally, because the use of microspheres is a common tool to measure tissue perfusion, the effects of small amounts of microspheres on CBF were examined. Using anesthetized pigs, we measured CBF with a transit time flow probe on the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). In six pigs the relationship between the amount of injected microspheres (0-40 x 10(6), 15 mu m in diameter, left atrial injections) and the effect on CBF was examined. Coronary hyperemia occurred, which was linearly related to the amount of microspheres injected: maximal increase in CBF (%) = 2.8 +/-1.5 (SE) + (5.8 + 0.7 x 10(-7) x number of injected microspheres). Because injection of 40 x 10(6) microspheres induced a long-lasting hyperemic response, which could be blocked by 8-p-sulfophenyl theophylline, ischemic tolerance was examined in five other pigs after two injections, each of 40 x 10(6) microspheres, at a 30-min interval. Six control pigs had no injections. Ischemic tolerance was evaluated by measuring infarct size (tetrazolium stain) as the percentage of area at risk (fluorescent particles) after 45 min of LAD occlusion followed by 2 h of reperfusion. Pretreatment by microspheres increased infarct size from 60 +/- 3% of area at risk in control animals to 84 + 6% (P < 0.05). The injection of microspheres induced a significant hyperemic flow response without causing necrosis by itself. We conclude that microembolization, evoking coronary hyperemia, does not improve but reduces myocardial ischemic tolerance against infarction in pigs.