Myocardial reperfusion injury and oxidative stress: Therapeutic opportunities.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Its associated mortality, morbidity and complications have significantly decreased with the development of interventional cardiology and percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PCA) treatment, which quickly and effectively restore the blood flow to the area previously subjected to ischemia. Paradoxically, the restoration of blood flow to the ischemic zone leads to a massive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which generate rapid and severe damage to biomolecules, generating a phenomenon called myocardial reperfusion injury (MRI). In the clinical setting, MRI is associated with multiple complications such as lethal reperfusion, no-reflow, myocardial stunning, and reperfusion arrhythmias. Despite significant advances in the understanding of the mechanisms accounting for the myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury, it remains an unsolved problem. Although promising results have been obtained in experimental studies (mainly in animal models), these benefits have not been translated into clinical settings. Thus, clinical trials have failed to find benefits from any therapy to prevent MRI. There is major evidence with respect to the contribution of oxidative stress to MRI in cardiovascular diseases. The lack of consistency between basic studies and clinical trials is not solely based on the diversity inherent in epidemiology but is also a result of the methodological weaknesses of some studies. It is quite possible that pharmacological issues, such as doses, active ingredients, bioavailability, routes of administration, co-therapies, startup time of the drug intervention, and its continuity may also have some responsibility for the lack of consistency between different studies. Furthermore, the administration of high ascorbate doses prior to reperfusion appears to be a safe and rational therapy against the development of oxidative damage associated with myocardial reperfusion. In addition, the association with N-acetylcysteine (a glutathione donor) and deferoxamine (an iron chelator) could improve the antioxidant cardioprotection by ascorbate, making it even more effective in preventing myocardial reperfusion damage associated with PCA following AMI.
World J Cardiol. 2018 Sep 26;10(9):74-86. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v10.i9.74.