Changes in intramyocardial carbon dioxide tension (Pco2) and arterial oxygen tension (Po2) were recorded in dogs with a mass spectrometer after temporary occlusion of the aorta and the proximal part of the anterior descending coronary artery at normothermic and hypothermic levels. Patterns of hypoxic and hypercapnic changes and their recovery were favorably modified with moderate hypothermia. Deep levels of hypothermia seemed to enhance this protective effect and progressively slow the myocardial metabolism.
Occlusion of the proximal part of the anterior descending coronary artery for 30 minutes had a regional effect similar to the general myocardial changes recorded after aortic clamping, while the posterior myocardial probe showed stable control values.
These data support previous studies showing that moderate hypothermia halves the oxygen consumption and doubles the "safe" period of anoxic arrest.