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Am Heart J. 1981 May;101(5):593-600.

Early phase acute myocardial infarct size quantification: validation of the triphenyl tetrazolium chloride tissue enzyme staining technique.


Gross histochemical delineation of myocardium which has lost dehydrogenase enzyme activity has been shown to facilitate macroscopic recognition of necrotic myocardium. The present study was undertaken to assess the accuracy of the triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) technique for quantitating myocardial infarct size very early after coronary occlusion. In 16 closed-chest dogs the left anterior descending coronary artery was occluded with an intra-arterial balloon. Twelve dogs were killed 6 hours after occlusion, their hearts excised, cut from apex to base into 1 cm thick slices, and incubated in TTC. Whole-mount histologic sections of each slice were prepared. Myocardial infarct size was measured by planimetry of photographs of each gross slice and histologic section using classical criteria of necrosis. Myocardial infarct size determined in 54 slices by the TTC technique and histologically was similar (25 +/- 16% vs 27 +/- 16% of the left ventricular mass, mean +/- SD) with close correlation between the two methods (r = 0.91). Four dogs were killed 3 hours after occlusion and TTC stained and unstained myocardium was studied by electron microscopy. When the TTC technique identified necrosis so did electron microscopy. Areas identified by the TTC technique as non-necrotic were either normal or only ischemic by electron microscopy. Thus, using TTC, necrosis can be quantitated reliably 6, and even 3 hours after coronary occlusion, before histologic changes are clearly diagnostic. This technique represents a reliable, practical means for quantitation of recent infarction and for studying the evolution of ischemic injury in its early phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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