Responsive monitoring of mitochondrial redox states in heart muscle predicts impending cardiac arrest

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Assessing the adequacy of oxygen delivery to tissues is vital, particularly in the fields of intensive care medicine and surgery. As oxygen delivery to a cell becomes deficient, changes in mitochondrial redox state precede changes in cellular function. We describe a technique for the continuous monitoring of the mitochondrial redox state on the epicardial surface using resonance Raman spectroscopy. We quantify the reduced fraction of specific electron transport chain cytochromes, a metric we name the resonance Raman reduced mitochondrial ratio (3RMR). As oxygen deficiency worsens, heme moieties within the electron transport chain become progressively more reduced, leading to an increase in 3RMR. Myocardial 3RMR increased from baseline values of 18.1 ± 5.9 to 44.0 ± 16.9% (P = 0.0039) after inferior vena cava occlusion in rodents (n = 8). To demonstrate the diagnostic power of this measurement, 3RMR was continuously measured in rodents (n = 31) ventilated with 5 to 8% inspired oxygen for 30 min. A 3RMR value exceeding 40% at 10 min predicted subsequent cardiac arrest with 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity [area under the curve (AUC), 0.98], outperforming all current measures, including contractility (AUC, 0.51) and ejection fraction (AUC, 0.39). 3RMR correlated with indices of intracellular redox state and energy production. This technique may permit the real-time identification of critical defects in organ-specific oxygen delivery.

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