BACKGROUND: Mild hypothermia, 32-35°C, reduces infarct size in experimental studies, potentially mediating reperfusion injuries, but human trials have been ambiguous. To elucidate the cardioprotective mechanisms of mild hypothermia, we analyzed cardiac performance in a porcine model of ischemia/reperfusion, with serial cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging throughout one week using non-invasive pressure-volume loops.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Normothermia and Hypothermia groups sessions (n=7+7 pigs, nonrandom allocation) were imaged with CMR at baseline and subjected to 40 minutes of normothermic ischemia by catheter intervention. Thereafter, the Hypothermia group was rapidly cooled (mean 34.5°C) for 5 minutes before reperfusion. Additional CMR sessions at two hours, 24 hours, and seven days acquired ventricular volumes and ischemic injuries (unblinded analysis).Stroke volume (-24%; p=0.029; Friedmans test) and ejection fraction (-20%; p=0.068) were notably reduced at 24h in the Normothermia group compared to baseline. In contrast, the decreases were ameliorated in the Hypothermia group (stroke volume: -6%; p=0.77; ejection fraction: -6%; p=0.13). Mean arterial pressure remained stable in Normothermic animals (-3%, p=0.77) but dropped two hours post-reperfusion in hypothermic animals (-18%, p=0.007). Both groups experienced a decrease and partial recovery pattern for PV loop-derived variables over one week, but the adverse effects tended attenuated in the Hypothermia group. Infarct sizes were 10±8% in Hypothermic and 15±8% in Normothermic animals (p=0.32). Analysis of covariance at 24 hours indicated that hypothermia has cardioprotective properties incremental to reducing infarct size, such as higher external power (p=0.061) and lower arterial elastance (p=0.015).
CONCLUSION: Using non-invasive pressure-volume loops by CMR, we observed that mild hypothermia at reperfusion alleviates the heart's work after ischemia/reperfusion injuries during the first week and preserves short-term cardiac performance. This hypothesis-generating study suggests hypothermia to have cardioprotective properties, incremental to reducing infarct size. The primary cardioprotective mechanism was likely an afterload reduction acutely unloading the left ventricle.
Bibliografisk information© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.