When there has been obstruction to blood supply to the heart, restoration of circulation is not without risk. Morbidity and mortality relate directly to the duration and the degree of ischemia and the mass of tissue involved. When the heart is reperfused after several hours of ischemia, acidosis and hyperkalemia is present. And there is a large increase in the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. This project will test if acidosis and hyperkalemia affects the risk of ventricular tachycardia and if control of pH and potassium in the first few minutes can reduce arrhythmia risk.
We will use isolated mouse hearts to test this hypothesis. Hearts will be perfused with normal buffers and subjected to global or local transient ischemia. At reperfusion, buffers with higher pH and lower potassium concentration will be used in an effort to buffer the initial perfusate flowing through the myocardium.