Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Sep;293(3):H1799-804. Epub 2007 Jul 20.

Progression of myocardial injury during coronary occlusion in the collateral-deficient heart: a non-wavefront phenomenon.

Author information

Harrison Department of Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283, USA.


It is widely accepted that, during acute coronary occlusion, ischemic cell death progresses from the subendocardium to the subepicardium in a wavefront fashion. This concept, which implies that the subendocardium is the most susceptible myocardial region to ischemic injury, was established using a canine model with an extensive system of subepicardial coronary collaterals. In humans, particularly in those with coronary artery disease, there is a wide range in the distribution and functional capacity of the collateral circulation, which may affect the pattern of infarct evolution. Using an ovine model with a limited system of preformed subendocardial coronary collaterals, we characterized the effect of increasing lengths of ischemia on regional blood flow and infarct size in three regions of the ventricular wall: subendocardium, midmyocardium, and subepicardium. Our results demonstrate that the myocardium and microvasculature in these three regions are equally susceptible to injury after 45 min of ischemia. When ischemic time is increased to 1 h, infarct size in the midmyocardium (90 +/- 2%) is greater than in the subendocardium (76 +/- 4%, P = 0.004) and subepicardium (84 +/- 3%, P = 0.13). Microvascular dysfunction as assessed as a percentage of baseline flow is also greater in the midmyocardium (14 +/- 5%) compared with the subendocardium (20 +/- 3%, P = 0.23) and subepicardium (51 +/- 9%, P = 0.007). These findings suggest that, in subjects with a limited system of coronary collateral circulation, the midmyocardium is the most susceptible myocardial region to ischemia and the subendocardium is the most resistant. Myocardial viability during coronary occlusion appears to be primarily determined by the distribution and functional capacity of the collateral circulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center