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Acute myocardial infarction and infarct size: do circadian variations play a role?

Authors Suarez-Barrientos, Ibanez B

Received 20 December 2011

Accepted for publication 6 March 2012

Published 29 August 2012 Volume 2012:2 Pages 51—58


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Aída Suárez-Barrientos,1 Borja Ibáñez1,2

1Cardiovascular Institute, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, 2Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Madrid, Spain

Abstract: The circadian rhythm influences cardiovascular system physiology, inducing diurnal variations in blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, endothelial functions, platelet aggregation, and coronary arterial flow, among other physiological parameters. Indeed, an internal circadian network modulates cardiovascular physiology by regulating heart rate, metabolism, and even myocyte growth and repair ability. Consequently, cardiovascular pathology is also controlled by circadian oscillations, with increased morning incidence of cardiovascular events. The potential circadian influence on the human tolerance to ischemia/reperfusion has not been systematically scrutinized until recently. It has since been proven, in both animals and humans, that infarct size varies during the day depending on the symptom onset time, while circadian fluctuations in spontaneous cardioprotection in humans with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) have also been demonstrated. Furthermore, several studies have proposed that the time of day at which revascularization occurs in patients with STEMI may also influence infarct size and reperfusion outcomes. The potential association of the circadian clock with infarct size advocates the acknowledgment of time of day as a new prognostic factor in patients suffering acute myocardial infarction, which would open up a new field for chronotherapeutic targets and lead to the inclusion of time of day as a variable in clinical trials that test novel cardioprotective strategies.

Keywords: cardioprotection, circadian rhythm, reperfusion injury, ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

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