OBJECTIVES:To simulate a human catheterization laboratory setting of controlled reperfusion during myocardial infarction, regional infusion of commercially available Buckberg cardioplegic solution and peripheral vented bypass were administered in the closed chest dog. BACKGROUND:Studies in open-chest dogs have demonstrated a significant reduction in infarct size and improvement in regional wall motion with a similar controlled reperfusion method using infusion of substrate-enriched (Buckberg) cardioplegic solution during cardiopulmonary bypass coupled with left ventricular venting. METHODS:After 100 or 180 min of balloon occlusion of the proximal left anterior descending artery, controlled reperfusion was performed with cardioplegic infusion and vented bypass. Dogs matched for occlusion time underwent balloon deflation without bypass or cardioplegia (uncontrolled reperfusion groups). Microspheres were used to quantify coronary ischemia during balloon inflation. All four groups (n = 8 to 9 per group) were followed up at 1 week to determine regional wall motion and infarct size. RESULTS:Qualitative echocardiographic analysis demonstrated no significant difference among groups in recovery of regional wall motion at 1 week; however, wall motion improved significantly in all groups between the ischemia and 1-week recovery periods. The histologic infarct size compared with the area at risk for dogs with uncontrolled versus controlled reperfusion, respectively, was 17.9 +/- 10.5% versus 31.9 +/- 8.3% (p < 0.05) for dogs with 100 min of occlusion and 40.1 +/- 11.7% versus 46.2 +/- 8.4% (p = NS) for dogs with 180 min of occlusion. A greater rate-pressure product in the dogs with controlled reperfusion after 100 min of occlusion (p < 0.05) may explain the larger infarct size observed for that group. CONCLUSIONS:These results demonstrate that regional infusion of substrate-enriched cardioplegic solution in combination with peripheral vented bypass does not further reduce infarct size after prolonged ischemia in the closed chest dog (compared with uncontrolled reperfusion).