Beyond Reperfusion: Acute Ventricular Unloading and Cardioprotection During Myocardial Infarction

J Curran, D Burkhoff and RA Kloner
J Cardiovasc Transl Res 2019

Heart failure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality around the world, and myocardial infarction is its leading cause. Myocardial infarction destroys viable myocardium, and this dead tissue is replaced by a non-contractile scar that results in impaired cardiac function and a significantly increased likelihood of the patient developing heart failure. Limiting infarct scar size has been the target of pre-clinical and clinical investigations for decades. However, beyond reperfusion, few therapies have translated into the clinic that limit its formation. New approaches are needed. This review will focus on new clinical and pre-clinical data demonstrating that acute ventricular unloading prior to reperfusion by means of percutaneous left ventricular support devices reduces ischemia-reperfusion injury and limits infarct scar size. Emphasis will be given to summarizing our current mechanistic understanding of this new therapeutic approach to treating myocardial infarction.

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