Ascorbic acid mitigates the myocardial injury after cardiac arrest and electrical shock

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To examine the effects of ascorbic acid (AA) administrated during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the myocardial injury in a rat model of ventricular fibrillation (VF) and electrical shock (ES).


VF was induced in male Wistar rats and left untreated for 5 min, followed by 1 min of CPR, and then one ES of 5 J. At the start of CPR, animals received either intravenous administration of AA (100 mg/kg) or Tempol (30 mg/kg), two antioxidants, or 0.9% saline (VF + ES group). After ES, animals were immediately killed. Myocardial lipoxidation was determined by malondialdehyde (MDA) assay. The histology and ultrastructural changes of myocardium were also evaluated. The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening was measured based on the mitochondrial swelling rate. The complex activities and respiration of mitochondria were assessed, too.


Increased myocardial injury and mitochondrial damage in the VF + ES group were noted. AA and Tempol alleviated such damages. Both AA and Tempol improved accelerated mitochondrial swelling; decreased complex activities and respiratory dysfunction occurred in the VF + ES group. The animals receiving AA and Tempol during CPR had better successful resuscitation rates and 72-h survival than the VF + ES group.


Intravenous administration of AA and Tempol at the start of CPR may reduce lipid peroxidation and myocardial necrosis, diminish mitochondrial damage, facilitate resuscitation, and improve outcomes after VF + ES.

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