Advances in Myocardial Protection

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The success of cardiac surgery is due in large part to the myocardial protection techniques employed to maintain cardiac viability during the period of induced ischemic arrest. As the number of older, high-risk cardiac surgical patients increases, advances in myocardial protection have become necessary to achieve a quiet, bloodless operative field without the production of irreversible intraoperative myocardial damage. Current efforts to provide optimal myocardial protection have focused on the effects of cardioplegic perfusate temperature, distribution of cardioplegia flow, and components of the arresting solution. Minimally invasive techniques have expanded surgical options and have led to the development of new methods to protect the myocardium.

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