The protective effects of high-dose ascorbic acid on myocardium against reperfusion injury during and after cardiopulmonary bypass

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1994 Oct;42(5):276-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1016504.


The protective effects of high-dose ascorbic acid (250 mg/kg) on the myocardium were observed in 85 patients undergoing Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB). The changes in serum Malonyldialdehyde (MDA). Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK), Creatine Phosphokinase isozyme (CPK-MB) and Lactic Dehydrogenase (LDH) in group B (n = 45, receiving ascorbic acid) were lower (p < 0.05) than in group A (n = 40, no ascorbic acid) during and after CPB. The MDA remained at a higher level two days postoperatively; CPK and CPK-MB, the sensitive and specific reflectors of myocardial injury, recovered very slowly in the control group (A) after the operation. The hearts in all the patients of group B resuscitated automatically intraoperatively while five cases (12.5%) needed defibrillation in group A. The cardiac index (CI) measured in ICU in group B was higher than in group A (p < 0.05). The patients needed shorter ICU and hospital stays in group B than in group A. The results indicate that ascorbic acid can act as a scavenger of free radicals to decrease the peroxidation of the lipids present in the cell membrane and remove the radicals to protect the myocardium from ischemia-reperfusion injury effectively during and after open-heart operation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Malondialdehyde
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Ascorbic Acid