Cardiac ionic currents and acute ischemia: from channels to arrhythmias

Physiol Rev. 1999 Jul;79(3):917-1017. doi: 10.1152/physrev.1999.79.3.917.


The aim of this review is to provide basic information on the electrophysiological changes during acute ischemia and reperfusion from the level of ion channels up to the level of multicellular preparations. After an introduction, section II provides a general description of the ion channels and electrogenic transporters present in the heart, more specifically in the plasma membrane, in intracellular organelles of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, and in the gap junctions. The description is restricted to activation and permeation characterisitics, while modulation is incorporated in section III. This section (ischemic syndromes) describes the biochemical (lipids, radicals, hormones, neurotransmitters, metabolites) and ion concentration changes, the mechanisms involved, and the effect on channels and cells. Section IV (electrical changes and arrhythmias) is subdivided in two parts, with first a description of the electrical changes at the cellular and multicellular level, followed by an analysis of arrhythmias during ischemia and reperfusion. The last short section suggests possible developments in the study of ischemia-related phenomena.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology*
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*


  • Ion Channels