Myocardial ischemia and reperfusion is a common event in cardiovascular surgery patients. The endothelium has been shown to play a key role in the injury suffered after ischemia and reperfusion. When endothelial cells became hypoxic followed by reoxygenation they become activated to express endothelial adhesion molecules followed by the migration of neutrophils into the tissue. These changes may contribute to the early postoperatively myocardial dysfunction. An increased understanding of the interaction between leukocytes and endothelium may allow to develop new therapies in future.