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April 1961

Control of Cardiac Activity by Ischemia and Hypothermia: An Experimental Study

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Research Laboratory, Creighton Memorial St. Joseph's Hospital, and Department of Surgery, Creighton Medical School.; Residents in Surgery, Creighton Memorial St. Joseph's Hospital (Dr. Poepsel and Dr. Carnazzo), and Associate Professor of Surgery and Acting Chairman of Surgery, Creighton University School of Medicine (Dr. McKain). Dr. Badame currently is residing in San Jose, Calif.

Arch Surg. 1961;82(4):511-514. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300100025002

During cardiopulmonary bypass procedure for correction of intracardiac lesions, it sometimes is expedient to utilize adjuvant measures for temporary control of cardiac perfusion and activity. Such control results in a quiet heart and a bloodless field and lessens the risk of air embolism. These are valuable assets to the cardiac surgeon and have been regularly obtained with chemically induced cardiac arrest. Potassium is probably the most commonly employed cardioplegic,1,10,12,29 a l t h o u g h cholinergics5,17,18 a n d "mixtures"9,11,21,22,28 are gaining in popularity.

However, there is some evidence accumulating that potassium arrests may be detrimental to the myocardium.3,7,8 Further, many investigators have experienced considerable difficulty inducing prompt arrests and resuscitating hearts after the use of potassium.6,,15,27 This seems to be more of a problem with the irritable hypothermic heart, unfortunately.

Because of the paucity of reports pertaining to induced cardiac arrest by