Article

Reactive oxygen species as mediators of cardiac injury and protection: The relevance to anesthesia practice

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Anesthesia & Analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.42). 12/2005; 101(5):1275-87. DOI: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000180999.81013.D0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are central to cardiac ischemic and reperfusion injury. They contribute to myocardial stunning, infarction and apoptosis, and possibly to the genesis of arrhythmias. Multiple laboratory studies and clinical trials have evaluated the use of scavengers of ROS to protect the heart from the effects of ischemia and reperfusion. Generally, studies in animal models have shown such effects. Clinical trials have also shown protective effects of scavengers, but whether this protection confers meaningful clinical benefits is uncertain. Several IV anesthetic drugs act as ROS scavengers. In contrast, volatile anesthetics have recently been demonstrated to generate ROS in the heart, most likely because of inhibitory effects on cardiac mitochondria. ROS are involved in the signaling cascade for cardioprotection induced by brief exposure to a volatile anesthetic (termed "anesthetic preconditioning"). ROS, therefore, although injurious in large quantities, can have a paradoxical protective effect within the heart. In this review we provide background information on ROS formation and elimination relevant to anesthetic and adjuvant drugs with particular reference to the heart. The sources of ROS, the means by which they induce cardiac injury or activate protective signaling pathways, the results of clinical studies evaluating ROS scavengers, and the effects of anesthetic drugs on ROS are each discussed.

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