Objective: To review the current scientific literature on ischemia–reperfusion (IR) injury in both human and veterinary medicine and to describe the assessment of IR injury, the available testing methods, and the options available for treatment.
Data sources: Data sources include scientific reviews and original research publications in both human and veterinary medicine.
Summary: The assessment of IR injury includes measuring products formed by the reaction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) with biological membranes, measuring levels of endogenous antioxidants, and measuring ROS themselves. Testing depends on the laboratory used, the test method chosen, the sample submitted (i.e., plasma, urine, tissue, etc.), and the timing of the test in relation to sample collection. For this reason, testing is not standardized and pharmacological data on antioxidant effectiveness are not available. Antioxidants and drugs tested have included single agents as well as ‘cocktails’ consisting of several agents working at different key points in the injury cascade.
Conclusions: There are several new testing methods as well as new strategies for attempting to ameliorate the damage inflicted upon reperfusion and this article is intended as a review of the assessment and treatment of IR injury.