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Am J Cardiol. 1996 Nov 15;78(10):1087-91.

Improvement in ischemic parameters during repeated exercise testing: a possible model for myocardial preconditioning.

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Bendheim Department of Cardiology, Jesselson Heart Center, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


Repeated short episodes of coronary occlusion in experimental animals, and in humans during balloon angioplasty, cause myocardial preconditioning. This study examines whether myocardial ischemia induced by repeated exercise testing can reduce the extent of ischemia induced by subsequent exercise tests. Twenty-six patients with positive stress tests underwent 3 treadmill exercise tests at 30-minute intervals. Two additional tests were performed on each of the previous 2 days in order to eliminate and/or reduce the training effect. All 3 exercise tests were of similar work load. In spite of that, total ischemic time was markedly shortened from 633 to 399 seconds (p <0.0001) as well as the recovery time from 259 to 126 seconds (p <0.0001) between the first and the second tests. There was no further improvement on the third test. Time to 1-mm ST depression was prolonged from 487 to 593 seconds (p = 0.004) and double product at 1-mm ST depression was increased in the second test from 20,322 to 22,325 mm Hg/second (p = 0.008), implying a higher ischemic threshold. An improvement of > or = 10% in < or = 1 ischemic parameter was observed in 25 of the 26 patients and in > or = 2 of the ischemic parameters in 76% of the patients. Improvement in ischemic parameters develops during repeated exercise induced ischemia in most patients. We suggest that this phenomenon, which was previously known as "warm up," is the clinical counterpart of myocardial preconditioning which develops not only during ischemia caused by reduction in coronary flow, but also during demand-induced ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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