The Effects of Infarct Size Reduction by Propanolol on Post Infarction Arrythmogenesis
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A variety of pharmacological interventions have been shown to reduce infarct size in experimental animals following coronary artery occlusion, a strategy designed to simulate myocardial infarction in man. Propranolol, a beta-adrenergic blocking agent, has been the focus of a great deal of research over the past two decades and has proven effective for this purpose. Despite the widespread interest in preservation of ischemic myocardium during acute myocardial infarction, little, if any, evidence exists on the effects of infarct size reduction on the genesis of post infarction arrythmias. The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of infarct size reduction by propranolol on post infarction arrythmogenesis. As compared to untreated dogs, administration of propranolol prior to coronary artery occlusion resulted in a 56.7% decrease in infarct size when expressed as a mass percentage of the myocardium at risk of infarction and a 57.7% decrease when expressed as a mass percentage of the left ventricle. Reduced infarct size was positively correlated with a reduction in the number of ventricular arrythmias both during coronary artery occlusion and during a 3 day post infarction convalescent period.