Objectives: The safe ischemic time after a single-dose del Nido cardioplegia (DNC) infusion has not yet been established. This study evaluated the progression of myocardial ischemic injury to establish the safe ischemic time after a single-dose DNC infusion in the human heart using a transmission electron microscope. Methods: Seven hearts extracted from heart transplant recipients after infusion of 1000 mL single-dose DNC were evaluated. Serial left ventricular myocardial tissue samples were collected every 30 minutes for 180 minutes. Ischemic injuries in the mitochondria and nuclei were scored from 0 to 3 (0 = normal, 0.5 = slight, 1 = moderate, 2 = severe, and 3 = irreversible). Results: At the time of extraction, 83.5% of the mitochondria were normal. The proportion of mitochondria with moderate ischemic injury increased gradually from 1.4% at extraction to 52.5% at 180 minutes. From 90 minutes to 180 minutes, the proportion of mitochondria with severe and irreversible injury increased from 0.8% to 4.4% and 0.3% to 1.3%, respectively. A significant linear correlation was identified between the average ischemic injury score of mitochondria and ischemic time (P < .001). Most nuclei showed moderate to severe ischemic injury at every time point (61.0%-85.2%). A significant linear correlation was also found between the average ischemic injury score of nuclei and ischemic time (P < .001). Conclusions: Myocardial ischemic injury progresses gradually, and irreversible ischemic injury begins to occur 90 minutes after initial DNC infusion in the adult human heart. Therefore, redosing of DNC may be required after 90 minutes of aortic crossclamp time during adult cardiac surgery.
- del Nido cardioplegia
- myocardial ischemic injury
- transmission electron microscope