Warm Blood Cardioplegia for Myocardial Protection: Concepts and Controversies

Tex Heart Inst J. 2020 Apr 1;47(2):108-116

This review describes the physiologic basis for warm blood cardioplegia in adult cardiac surgery and outlines the current basic and clinical research that evaluates the usefulness of this technique when compared with cold blood and crystalloid cardioplegia.

AddThis Sharing Buttons
Warm blood cardioplegia has been an established cardioplegic method since the 1990s, yet it remains controversial in regard to myocardial protection. This review will describe the physiologic and technical concepts behind warm blood cardioplegia, as well as outline the current basic and clinical research that evaluates its usefulness. Controversies regarding this technique will also be reviewed. A long history of experimental data indicates that warm blood cardioplegia is safe and effective and thus suitable myocardial protection during cardiopulmonary bypass surgeries.

Despite a long history and ample evidence in the medical literature, warm blood cardioplegia remains a complex and controversial topic. Many surgeons hesitate to adopt this technique because of their perceived ambiguity about its effectiveness in complex procedures or their uncertainty regarding technique. This review describes the physiologic basis for warm blood cardioplegia in adult cardiac surgery and outlines the current basic and clinical research that evaluates the usefulness of this technique when compared with cold blood and crystalloid cardioplegia.