The addition of calcium channel-blocking agents to a standard hyperkalemic hypothermic cardioplegic solution has been examined both experimentally and clinically. None of these studies, however, have investigated the effect of calcium blockade during cardioplegic arrest on the specialized cardiac conduction tissues and on the subsequent development of arrhythmias after arrest. The present study examined the effect of adding nifedipine to standard cardioplegic solution administered in a canine experimental preparation modeled on routine clinical techniques. The time to and duration of electrical arrest following the administration of cardioplegia and the functional electrophysiological variables before and after arrest were measured using a 32-channel data acquisition system. The addition of nifedipine shortened the time to electrical arrest and prolonged the duration of arrest compared with standard potassium cardioplegic solution alone, without a deleterious effect on conduction function immediately after arrest. The occurrence of low-amplitude electrical activity (LEA) in both atria and ventricles during arrest was significantly reduced by the addition of nifedipine, thereby suggesting a possible correlation between LEA and calcium-mediated conduction occurring under conditions of standard cardioplegic arrest.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine