Cardiac dysfunction including arrhythmias and myocardial ischemia have often been reported in carbon monoxide poisoning; scattered punctiform hemorrhages throughout the heart have been documented in autopsy samples. An appropriate diagnostic approach is crucial to assess carbon monoxide cardiac damage. This evaluation may be confounded by several factors, including the absence of overt symptoms and of specific ischemic changes in the electrocardiogram. In experimental studies, laboratory animals can develop cardiac changes similar to those seen in humans and therefore proved to be useful models to study the effects and the mechanisms of cardiac damage due to carbon monoxide. These investigations, as well as others performed in vitro, provide support for a direct action of carbon monoxide on the heart, in addition to systemic hypoxia produced by carboxyhemoglobin formation. This review focuses on the diagnostic aspects of carbon monoxide cardiotoxicity. Experimental results obtained in animals and in vitro models are also discussed.
- Carbon monoxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis