We investigated the net myocardial release of creatine kinase isoenzyme MB (CKMB), myoglobin, cardiac troponin T (cTnT), cardiac troponin I (cTnI), and cardiac beta-type myosin heavy chain (beta-MHC) into the coronary circulation after cardioplegic cardiac arrest in humans. Cardiac markers were measured in paired arterial, central venous, and coronary sinus blood in 19 patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) before aortic cross-clamping and 1, 5, 10, and 20 min after aortic declamping. cTnT and cTnI were released into the coronary sinus in parallel to each other and almost simultaneously to myoglobin and CKMB within 20 min of reperfusion. In contrast, no beta-MHC was released in the same patients during the study period. The average soluble cTnT and cTnI pools in right atrial appendages of 11 patients with right atrial and right ventricular pressures within reference values were comparable and were approximately 8% of total myocardial troponin content. The soluble beta-MHC pool was <0.1% in all patients. Our results demonstrate the impact of the different intracellular compartmention of regulatory and contractile proteins on their early release from damaged myocardium.