Animal Models for protecting ischemic myocardium: Results of the NHLBI cooperative study. Comparison of unconscious and conscious dog models

K. A. Reimer, R. B. Jennings, F. R. Cobb, R. H. Murdock, J. C. Greenfield, L. C. Becker, B. H. Bulkley, G. M. Hutchins, R. P. Schwartz, K. R. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

322 Scopus citations


The Animal Models for Protecting Ischemic Myocardium Study was undertaken for the purpose of developing reproducible animal models that could be used to assess interventions designed to limit infarct size. This paper describes the results obtained in an unconscious dog model and in a conscious dog model, developed in three participating laboratories. The unconscious dog model, involving reperfusion after 3 hours of ischemia in open-chest dogs, was intended to determine whether therapy followed by early reperfusion would limit infarct size more than reperfusion alone. The conscious dog model used chronically instrumented dogs and permanent coronary occlusion to better mimic myocardial infarction in man. In both models, the proximal circumflex artery was occluded, and the primary experimental endpoint was infarct size, as measured by histological techniques 3 days after the initial occlusion. Infarct size was analyzed in relation to baseline variables including the anatomic area at risk, collateral blood flow to the subepicardial zone of ischemia and hemodynamic determinants of myocardial metabolic demand. Most of the variation in infarct size in control dogs could be related to variation in the area at risk, collateral blood flow, and rate pressure product. Using multivariate analysis and groups of 15 dogs, an intervention that limited infarct size by 10-13% of the area at risk would have been detected 50% of the time. Larger treatment effects would be detected more readily, and smaller effects often would be missed, unless group sizes were larger. Two drugs, verapamil and ibuprofen, were evaluated in both models, with experimental group sizes averaging 13 and 20 dogs, in the unconscious and conscious models, respectively. Three of 15 verapamil-treated dogs in unconscious model study had much smaller infarcts than expected from baseline parameters. With these exceptions, neither drug limited infarct size in either model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-665
Number of pages15
JournalCirculation research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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