Measurement of myocardial infarct size in preclinical studies

J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2010 Mar-Apr;61(2):163-70. doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2010.02.014. Epub 2010 Feb 25.


Ischemic heart disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Myocardial ischemia followed by reperfusion results in tissue injury termed ischemia/reperfusion injury which is characterized by decreased myocardial contractile function, occurrence of arrhythmias, and development of tissue necrosis (infarction). These pathologies are all relevant as clinical consequences of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury and they are also important as experimental correlates and endpoints. The most critical determinant of acute and long-term mortality after myocardial infarction is the volume of the infarcted tissue. Therefore, development of cardioprotective therapies aims at reducing the size of the infarct developing due to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Different techniques are available to measure myocardial infarct size in humans and in experimental settings, however, accurate determination of the extent of infarction is necessary to evaluate interventions that may delay the onset of necrosis and/or limit the total extent of infarct size during ischemia/reperfusion. This paper highlights recent advances of the different techniques to measure infarct size.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiotonic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Coloring Agents
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Electrocardiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Coloring Agents
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • triphenyltetrazolium