Journal of heart and lung transplantation vol:10 issue:6 pages:990-998
Myocardial ischemia results in a breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is associated with an accumulation of its catabolites adenosine and inosine. Adenosine is a potent but ineffective cardioprotective agent because it is rapidly transported to the endothelium and irreversibly catabolized. With the use of specific nucleoside transport inhibition (NTI), however, endogenous adenosine may accumulate at its site of production, and its further breakdown and washout on reperfusion is prevented. In this study we tested this concept and assessed the effect of NTI drug administration on 24 hours' preservation of donor hearts for transplantation. Twelve dogs were randomly allocated to two groups. In the first group (group 1, n = 6) the hearts were arrested with a cold hyperkalemic cardioplegic solution, excised and stored for 24 hours at 0.5-degrees-C. After 24 hours the hearts were transplanted orthotopically. In group 2 (n = 6) the same procedure was followed, but a specific NTI agent was added to the cardioplegic solution (1 mg/L) and administered intravenously to the recipient dog before reperfusion of the transplanted heart (0.1 mg/kg). Despite maximal positive inotropic support, none of the control animals (group 1) could be weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass: within 1 hour irreversible cardiogenic shock occurred in all animals. In group 2 all hearts could be weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass and were hemodynamically stable without positive inotropic support. Serial transmural left ventricular biopsies revealed in group 1 moderate catabolism of ATP during cold storage. On reperfusion a further decline of the ATP content was seen, and the accumulated nucleosides were washed out. In group 2 ATP breakdown was similar during cold storage and continued up to 1 hour after reperfusion. The nucleosides adenosine and inosine, however, were not washed out. After 2 hours of reperfusion a complete restoration of ATP content was found. These results indicate that the concept of NTI is highly effective in long-term preservation of donor hearts.