Send to

Choose Destination
Basic Res Cardiol. 2006 Sep;101(5):359-72.

The no-reflow phenomenon: A basic mechanism of myocardial ischemia and reperfusion.

Author information

The Heart Institute, Good Samaritan Hospital, Dept. of Cardiology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1225 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles (CA) 90017, USA.


Both animal models of experimental myocardial infarction and clinical studies on reperfusion therapy for acute myocardial infarction have provided evidence of impaired tissue perfusion at the microvascular level after initiation of reperfusion despite adequate restoration of epicardial vessel patency. Characteristics of this "no-reflow" phenomenon found in basic science investigations, such as distinct perfusion defects, progressive decrease of resting myocardial flow with ongoing reperfusion and functional vascular alterations are paralleled by clinical observations demonstrating similar features during the course of reperfusion. In experimental animal investigations of coronary occlusion and reperfusion, this no-reflow phenomenon could be characterized as a fundamental mechanism of myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. Major determinants of the amount of no-reflow are the duration of occlusion, infarct size, but also the length of reperfusion, as rapid expansion of perfusion defects occurs during reperfusion. Moreover, no-reflow appears to persist over a period of at least four weeks, a period when major steps of infarct healing take place. The significant association of the degree of compromised tissue perfusion at four weeks and indices of infarct expansion, found in chronic animal models of reperfused myocardial infarction, might be the pathoanatomic correlate for the prognostic significance observed in the clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center