Introduction: This study was designed to test the hypothesis that high-dose ascorbate prior to reperfusion followed by low chronic oral doses ameliorate myocardial reperfusion injury (MRI) in acute myocardial infarction patients subjected to primary percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PCA).
Material and methods: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled and multicenter clinical trial was performed on acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients who underwent PCA. Sodium ascorbate (320 mmol/l, n = 53) or placebo (n = 46) was infused 30 min prior to PCA. Blood samples were drawn at enrolment (M1), after balloon deflation (M2), 6-8 h after M2 (M3) and at discharge (M4). Total antioxidant capacity of plasma (ferric reducing ability of plasma - FRAP), erythrocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) and plasma ascorbate levels were determined in blood samples. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) was performed at 7-15 days and 2-3 months following PCA. Ninety-nine patients were enrolled. In 67 patients, the first CMR was performed, and 40 patients completed follow-up.
Results: The ascorbate group showed significantly higher ascorbate and FRAP levels and a decrease in the GSH levels at M2 and M3 (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in the infarct size, indexed end-systolic volume and ejection fraction at both CMRs. There was a significant amelioration in the decreased ejection fraction between the first and second CMR in the ascorbate group (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Ascorbate given prior to reperfusion did not show a significant difference in infarct size or ejection fraction. However, it improved the change in ejection fraction determined between 7-15 days and 2-3 months. This result hints at a possible functional effect of ascorbate to ameliorate MRI.
Keywords: ascorbate; myocardial reperfusion injury; oxidative stress.