The effect of coronary artery reperfusion on the extent of myocardial infarction

Am Heart J. 1977 Mar;93(3):358-66. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8703(77)80255-x.


The effect of the reperfusion on myocardial infarction has been studied in the rat in order to assess the possible reversibility of myocardial damage. The present study deals with reperfusion of experimental myocardial infarction in the rat. Two groups of animals were compared: one was subjected to permanent ischemia and the other was subjected to ischemia of variable duration 1) hour to 24 hours). The differences between infarction caused by permanent ischemia and the evolution of infarction following reperfusion were studied by means of histologic (121 specimens) histoenzymatic (56 specimens), ECG (100 specimens), techniques and study of the mcirocirculation (70 specimens). The size of the infarctions caused by temporary ischemia was found to be significantly smaller in 60% of the cases as compared to the infarctions caused by permanent ischemia. Histoenzymatic study (phosphorylase activity and succinodehydrogenase activity) confirmed the existance of a marginal zone extending over one third of the surface of the ischemic myocardium: reperfusion permitted the salvage of this zone and thereby diminished the extent of necrosis. The latter findings were further confirmed by the ECG study showing earlier regression of ischemic ST changes following early reperfusion. Microcirculatory changes secondary to anoxia may account for the fact that, in a certain percentage of the cases, early reperfusion does not prevent extension of infarction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology
  • Ligation
  • Myocardial Infarction / enzymology
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Myocardium / enzymology
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Perfusion
  • Phosphorylases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Succinate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Succinate Dehydrogenase
  • Phosphorylases