Simultaneous antegrade and retrograde reperfusion after cardioplegia arrest for coronary artery bypass

Andrea J. Carpenter, David M. Follette, Barry Sheppard, Richard Yoshikawa, Sam James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Retrograde coronary sinus reperfusion with warm blood during proximal anastomoses permits completion of myocardial revascularization under a single cross-clamp application. Reperfusion with both antegrade (via arterial and vein grafts) and retrograde (via coronary sinus catheter) warm blood has raised concerns about maldistribution of perfusate or overpressurization of capillary beds. This prospective, randomized design compares post- cardioplegia myocardial recovery among patients receiving retrograde reperfusion only and patients receiving simultaneous antegrade/retrograde reperfusion. Twenty-four patients were selected among all presenting as outpatients for elective coronary artery bypass (CAB). Each patient underwent CAB with cardioplegia arrest and single cross-clamp technique. During proximal anastomoses the heart was reperfused with warm blood from the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuit. Twelve received retrograde reperfusion only, and 12 received simultaneous antegrade/retrograde reperfusion via an internal mammary artery (IMA) graft, all vein grafts, and the coronary sinus catheter. Vein graft perfusion was interrupted in each vein as the proximal anastomosis was performed. Myocardial recovery time (interval from initiating reperfusion until electrical and mechanical activity), cardioversion incidence, requirement for inotropic support, and Swan-Ganz hemodynamic parameters measured immediately 6 and 24 hours postoperatively were compared between groups. There were no differences between groups in age, ventricular function, number of grafts, or CPB time. Also, there were no differences in cardioversion, inotropic need, or postoperative hemodynamic performance. Myocardial recovery time was reduced in patients receiving simultaneous antegrade/retrograde reperfusion (13.9 ± 7.0 vs 2.6 ± 2.1 minutes). Simultaneous reperfusion of warm blood antegrade and retrograde is not deleterious to the myocardium. More rapid recovery of myocardial function may represent a shorter period of warm ischemia but does not appear to translate to improved postoperative myocardial performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-358
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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