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Keywords:

  • Cariporide;
  • Celsior solution;
  • glyceryl trinitrate;
  • heart preservation;
  • heart transplantation;
  • ischemia-reperfusion injury

Sodium–hydrogen exchange inhibitors, such as cariporide, are potent cardioprotective agents, however, safety concerns have been raised about intravenously (i.v.) administered cariporide in humans. The aim of this study was to develop a preservation strategy that maintained cariporide's cardioprotective efficacy during heart transplantation while minimizing recipient exposure. We utilized a porcine model of orthotopic heart transplantation that incorporated donor brain death and 14 h static heart storage. Five groups were studied: control (CON), hearts stored in Celsior; CAR1, hearts stored in Celsior with donors and recipients receiving cariporide (2 mg/kg i.v.) prior to explantation and reperfusion, respectively; CAR2, hearts stored in Celsior supplemented with cariporide (10 μmol/L); GTN, hearts stored in Celsior supplemented with glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) (100 mg/L); and COMB, hearts stored in Celsior supplemented with cariporide (10 μmol/L) plus GTN (100 mg/L). A total of 5/5 CAR1 and 5/6 COMB recipients were weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass compared with 1/5 CON, 1/5 CAR2 and 0/5 GTN animals (p = 0.001). Hearts from the CAR1 and COMB groups demonstrated similar cardiac function and troponin release after transplantation. Supplementation of Celsior with cariporide plus GTN provided superior donor heart preservation to supplementation with either agent alone and equivalent preservation to that observed with systemic administration of cariporide to the donor and recipient.