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Cardiovasc Res. 2006 May 1;70(2):297-307. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Preconditioning, postconditioning and their application to clinical cardiology.

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Heart Institute, Good Samaritan Hospital, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States.


Ischemic preconditioning is a well-established phenomenon first described in experimental preparations in which brief episodes of ischemia/reperfusion applied prior to a longer coronary artery occlusion reduce myocardial infarct size. There are ample correlates of ischemic preconditioning in the clinical realm. Preconditioning mimetic agents that stimulate the biochemical pathways of ischemic preconditioning and protect the heart without inducing ischemia have been examined in numerous experimental studies. However, despite the effectiveness of ischemic preconditioning and preconditioning mimetics for protecting ischemic myocardium, there are no preconditioning-based therapies that are routinely used in clinical medicine at the current time. Part of the problem is the need to administer therapy prior to the known ischemic event. Other issues are that percutaneous coronary intervention technology has advanced so far (with the development of stents and drug-eluting stents) that ischemic preconditioning or preconditioning mimetics have not been needed in most interventional cases. Recent clinical trials such as AMISTAD I and II (Acute Myocardial Infarction STudy of ADenosine) suggest that some preconditioning mimetics may reduce myocardial infarct size when given along with reperfusion or, as in the IONA trial, have benefit on clinical events when administered chronically in patients with known coronary artery disease. It is possible that some of the benefit described for adenosine in the AMISTAD 1 and 2 trials represents a manifestation of the recently described postconditioning phenomenon. It is probable that postconditioning--in which reperfusion is interrupted with brief coronary occlusions and reperfusion sequences--is more likely than preconditioning to be feasible as a clinical application to patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention for acute myocardial infarction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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