Diltiazem cardioplegia Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Calcium channel blockers may prevent myocardial injury during cardioplegia and reperfusion. A prospective, randomized trial was instituted to evaluate the hemodynamic and myocardial metabolic recovery in 40 patients undergoing elective aorta-coronary bypass with either diltiazem in crystalloid potassium cardioplegia (n = 20) or crystalloid potassium cardioplegia (n = 20). In a preliminary trial, doses between 150 and 250 micrograms/kg reduced the period of heart block after cross-clamp removal (90 +/- 110 minutes) from that found with higher doses and improved myocardial metabolism. In the randomized trial, diltiazem cardioplegia (150 micrograms/kg) produced coronary vasodilatation during cardioplegia and produced less reactive hyperemia during reperfusion. Myocardial oxygen extraction was lower and myocardial lactate production was less after diltiazem cardioplegia during reperfusion. Tissue adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate concentrations were preserved better after diltiazem cardioplegia. The postoperative creatine kinase MB levels were less (p less than 0.05) after diltiazem cardioplegia, which indicated less myocardial injury. Postoperative volume loading demonstrated that systolic function (the relation between systolic blood pressure and end-systolic volume index) was depressed after diltiazem cardioplegia compared to crystalloid cardioplegia, but cardiac index was higher because afterload (mean arterial pressure) was lower and preload (end-diastolic volume index) was higher. Diltiazem cardioplegia preserved high-energy phosphates, improved postoperative myocardial metabolism, and reduced ischemic injury after elective coronary bypass. However, diltiazem was a potent negative inotrope and produced prolonged periods of electromechanical arrest. Diltiazem cardioplegia may be of value in patients with severe ischemia but should be used with caution in patients with ventricular dysfunction, and a dose-response relation must be established at each institution before clinical use.


  • Christakis, George T
  • Fremes, Stephen E
  • Weisel, Richard D
  • Tittley, Jacques
  • G. Mickle, Donald A
  • Ivanov, Joan
  • Madonik, M Mindy
  • Benak, Arnold M
  • McLaughlin, Peter R
  • Baird, Ronald J

publication date

  • May 1986

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