Recent studies suggest that circulating leukocytes trapped in the post ischemic-reperfused organ release active oxygen species and leukotrienes, and cause tissue damage.
Canine hearts statically preserved for six hours, were reperfused with whole blood (group Ⅰ, n=7), with leukocyte depleted blood (group Ⅱ, n=14), and with leukocyte and protein depleted blood (group Ⅲ, n=7). After initial perfusion, whole blood prefusion was started at 15 minutes of post reperfusion (group Ⅱa, n=7) and at 30 minutes of post reperfusion (group Ⅱb, n=7; group Ⅲ, n=7). Significant leukocytes sequestration wsa demonstrated only in group Ⅰ and group Ⅱa. Left ventricular function recovery, coronary flow and mitochondrial phospholyration activity were significantly better preserved in the groups reperfused with leukocyte depleted blood, especially gorup Ⅲ. These date suggest that leukocyte depletion amelioraes reperfusion injury of preserved hearts.