Cardiac arrest is unique among cardiac ischemic syndromes in that all circulation must be generated external to the heart. Although, chest compressions deliver limited blood flow, it may be possible to take advantage of this cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) low-flow state to “prime” the heart in advance of return of restoration of spontaneous circulation. Prior investigation has demonstrated improved cardiac function after perfusing the globally ischemic heart with a cardioprotective agent under low-flow perfusion conditions (modeling CPR flow). These results raise the question as to whether CPR-generated flow can be utilized to induce pharmacological post-conditioning in the arrested heart.
Key words: low-flow, CPR, post-conditioning, cardioprotect