Evaluation of Coronary Flow Reserve after Myocardial Ischemia Reperfusion in Rats

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. After an acute myocardial infarction, early and successful myocardial intervention via recanalization of the coronary artery is the most effective strategy for reducing the size of ischemic myocardium. The coronary microvasculature cannot be visualized and imaged in vivo, but there are several invasive and noninvasive techniques that can be used to assess parameters which depend directly on coronary microvascular function. The endothelial function after ischemia reperfusion can be assessed also at the level of the coronary circulation via the coronary flow reserve (CFR). In this study, peak velocity of left anterior descending (LAD) coronary arteries was measured in rats in vivo via Transthoracic Doppler Echocardiography during resting and stress challenge (induced by Dobutamine). A normal heart can increase its coronary blood flow up to four times above the resting values during stress induction. Following ischemia reperfusion, we found a significantly diminished CFR, which can be used as a marker of coronary microvascular dysfunction. CFR has opened a window on the importance of microvascular dysfunction and has been shown to predict cardiovascular risk independent of whether the severe obstructive disease is present.