A Novel Strategy with Fasudil, a Rho-kinase Inhibitor for Intractable Perioperative Myocardial Ischemia with Coronary Spasm

(Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Fukuoka, Japan)

Taketoshi Maeda Yoshihisa Tanoue Etsuko Nagasaki
Masataka Eto Shigehiko Tokunaga Atsuhiro Nakashima
Yuichi Shiokawa Yukihiro Tomita Ryuji Tominaga
We experienced 6 cases of intractable perioperative myocardial ischemia with coronary spasm that was successfully treated with fasudil, a Rho-kinase inhibitor. Three of the patients(aged 49-81 years)showed ST elevation on electrocardiograms and abrupt circulatory collapse after off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting. Emergeny coronary angiogram revealed severe spasm of their own coronary arteries and/or bypass grafts. Since intracoronary and/or intragraft injection of isosorbide dinitrate(ISDN)was ineffective, we administered fasudil into the spastic vessels, and that completely resolved the spasm. The other 3 patients(aged 55-77 years)suffered myocardial ischemia during the operation, though intravenous vasodilators including ISDN, diltiazem and nicorandil had been administered continuously. Their ischemia occurred when the aorta was declamped, the pericardium opened, or the bypass graft was anastomosed, respectively. We decided to use fasudil in these cases since ISDN was ineffective, or severe spasm was found on intraoperative inspection. Administration of fasudil successfully relieved the ischemia, and subsequently all 3 patients could be weaned from the cardiopulmonary bypass during the operation. Fasudil completely resolved the myocardial ischemia in all 6 patients. In conclusion, fasudil, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, is a useful agent for perioperative myocardial ischemia including coronary spasm that is resistant to intensive conventional vasodilator therapy. We should administer fasudil and relieve spasms as early as possible to rescue patients with intractable ischemia.
  Jpn. Jpn. J. Cardiovasc. Surg. 38:91-95(2009)