Author + information
- Received March 3, 1987
- Revision received June 3, 1987
- Accepted June 26, 1987
- Published online December 1, 1987.
- Mengjia Zhao, MD1,
- Hong Zhang, MD1,
- Thomas F. Robinson, PhD1,
- Stephen M. Factor, MD, FACC1,
- Edmund H. Sonnenblick, MD, FACC1 and
- Calvin Eng, MD*,1
- ↵*Address for reprints: Calvin Eng, MD, Cardiovascular Research Laboratories, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Forchheimer Room 715, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, New York 10461.
Ultrastructural studies of the extracellular collagen matrix were made on the “stunned” myocardium using scanning, conventional and high voltage transmission electron microscopy and light microscopy. Regional myocardial dysfunction was produced by 12 sequential 5 minute occlusions of the left anterior descending coronary artery, separated by 10 minute intervals of reperfusion. A final 90 minute reperfusion period documented persistent myocardial dysfunction. At the end of the final reperfusion period, the percent systolic shortening, measured by sonomicrometers, was depressed significantly to 35 ± 9% of baseline. The heart was then perfusion fixed, and samples were taken from both control and stunned areas.
No changes associated with irreversible cellular damage were noted in the stunned region. However, scanning electron microscopy of the stunned area showed that the extracellular collagen matrix underwent profound structural changes. Collagen cables were roughened, uncoiled and discontinuous. Linear grooves on the surface of the myocytes were frequently seen, indicating complete loss of collagen cables. The usual dense collagen weave surrounding myocytes became patchy or absent. Myocyte to myocyte struts were sparse and frequently absent, with remnant nodular or nublike structures indicative of breakage. High voltage electron microscopy of the stunned area showed that the collagen struts were discontinuous and vacuolated with rounded tips. Light microscopy of silver-stained sections of the stunned tissue demonstrated large patchy areas that were devoid of silver, indicating absence of the collagen matrix. There was a progressive increase in percent systolic bulging during each sequential coronary occlusion, suggesting increasing myocardial compliance.
These results indicate that the myocardial collagen matrix is severely damaged from reversible ischemic cell injury. The greater myocardial compliance and less effective contractile effort in the stunned myocardium might be explained on a structural basis: disruption of the mechanical coupling function provided by the extracellular collagen matrix.
- Received March 3, 1987.
- Revision received June 3, 1987.
- Accepted June 26, 1987.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation