Mathematical modeling of buffers used in myocardial preservation

Jonathan R. Triana, Mark Yanagihashi, Douglas F. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective. Buffers added to myocardial preservation solutions are considered to be critical for resisting myocardium pH changes from the accumulation of protons (H+). Our hypothesis is that mathematical modeling of three clinically used buffers will define their individual buffering capacities under simulated clinical conditions. Methods. The buffers, tromethamine (THAM), sodium bicarbonate (HCO3-), and L-histidine, were compared in terms of their buffering capacity (β) under specific temperatures and concentrations, using a mathematical model. Results. At 37°C, the maximal beta (βmax) occurred at pH 7.75 for THAM, pH 6.10 for HCO3-, and pH 5.89 for L-histidine at equimolar concentrations. A decrease in temperature moved βmax to a higher pH value for each buffer. At clinical concentrations, L-histidine provided the greatest buffering capacity followed by HCO3- and THAM, respectively. Discussion. This model permitted comparison of the above buffers under simulated clinical conditions. The assumption was that the magnitude of βmax at a given temperature determines which buffer(s) could be most effective for myocardial preservation. Also, the assumption was taken that these buffers are used in a closed system - where there is no continuous blood flow - and that the buffering ability of THAM and L-histidine were not influenced by the accumulation of CO2 as is HCO3-. THAM and L-histidine were more effective at hypothermic temperatures compared with HCO3-; however, HCO3- provided buffering at normothermic temperatures. Through the theoretical considerations of this study, we propose that combining HCO3 - with THAM or L-histidine could be most efficacious for myocardial preservation during open heart surgery or organ transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Safety Research
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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