Protective effect of Crataegus oxyacantha against reperfusion arrhythmias after global no-flow ischemia in the rat heart.


al Makdessi S, Sweidan H, Dietz K, Jacob R.




Basic Res Cardiol


The protective effect against reperfusion arrhythmias of a 3-month oral pretreatment with a dried extract of Crataegus oxyacantha (LI 132)(standardized to 2.2% flavonoids) was studied with the Langendorff heart of the rat after global no-flow ischemia. The heart was perfused with a modified Krebs-Henseleit solution in which the K+ content was reduced to 3.4 mmol/l in order to lower the fibrillation threshold. According to pilot experiments which considered various durations of global no-flow ischemia ranging from 10 to 20 minutes, two durations were chosen for the present study: 20 minutes (group 20) in which ventricular fibrillation (VF) was the predominant form of arrhythmias, and 18 minutes (group 18) in which the prevalence of VF was markedly lower despite the small difference in the duration of ischemia. Crataegus pretreatment significantly (p = 0.02) reduced the average prevalence of malignant arrhythmias (VF + Flutter) as observed during the 20-min-period of reperfusion as follows: group 20: from 89% (control, n = 9) to 51% (LI 132, n = 7), group 18: from 48% (control, n = 8) to 8% (LI 132, n = 8). In group 20, ventricular tachycardia (VT) could be observed only in the treated group, because of the predominance of VF in the control group. LI 132 pretreatment reduced the average prevalence of VT in group 18 in spite of the identical percentage of occurrence (6 out of 8 rats, with and without treatment) due to a shorter duration of the VT episodes. Thus, under the conditions of our experiments, effective prevention against reperfusion arrhythmias by Crataegus pretreatment was evident.