Efforts to successfully restore life in cardiac arrest victims are formidably challenging. They require not only that cardiac activity be initially reestablished but that injury to vital organs be prevented or minimized. In this article, we discuss the effects that cardiac arrest and resuscitation have on the myocardium, describing first the functional myocardial abnormalities that occur during cardiac resuscitation, which may limit the ability to reestablish cardiac activity. We then discuss strategies for minimizing myocardial injury and examine novel therapies aimed at minimizing ischemia and reperfusion injury. Finally, we discuss sodium-hydrogen exchanger isoform-1(NHE-1) inhibitors and erythropoietin for maintaining myocardial function during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Keywords: myocardial ischemic injury, reperfusion myocardial injury, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, NHE-1 inhibitors, erythropoietin