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Am Heart J. 1992 Feb;123(2):339-45.

Reduction of reperfusion injury with preoperative rapid intravenous infusion of taurine during myocardial revascularization.

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  • 1Hospital Fernández and Cardiopsis, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


To assess a possible free-radical scavenging action of taurine during coronary artery bypass grafting, 12 patients were randomly divided into two equal groups. One to 3 hours before surgery, they received a rapid intravenous infusion of either placebo (group 1) or taurine (5 gm) (group 2). During surgery, biopsy samples were taken before ischemia (preischemic samples) and after 10 minutes of reperfusion (reperfusion samples). Lipoperoxidation was determined by hydroperoxide-initiated chemiluminescence of heart homogenates, and myocardial cell damage was assessed by electron microscopy. The values for chemiluminescence in preischemic and reperfusion samples from group 1 were 7500 +/- 1600 and 18,600 +/- 4600 cpm/mg of protein, respectively (p less than 0.03). This difference was not observed in group 2 where the values were 10,050 +/- 2700 and 11,800 +/- 4200 cpm/mg of protein, for preischemic and reperfusion samples, respectively. The number of severely damaged mitochondria (grades 3 and 4) in reperfusion samples from group 1 increased significantly compared to preischemic samples (25 +/- 8% vs 12 +/- 3%, p less than 0.01). Conversely no differences were observed between the number of severely damaged mitochondria in reperfusion and preischemic samples from group 2 (8 +/- 3% vs 8 +/- 2%). The number of damaged and necrotic myocytes increased in group 1 after reperfusion from 22 +/- 9% to 34 +/- 10% (p less than 0.03) and from 10 +/- 7% to 26 +/- 20% (p = NS), respectively. No changes were observed between reperfusion and preischemic samples in group 2. Treatment with taurine seems to reduce lipoperoxidation and decrease cell damage at the time of reperfusion.

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