Left ventricular dysfunction due to stunning and hibernation in patients

R. Ferrari, G. La Canna, R. Giubbini, E. Milan, C. Ceconi, F. de Giuli, P. Berra, O. Alfieri, O. Visioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Left ventricular dysfunction is in most cases the consequence of myocardial ischemia. It may occur transiently during an attack of angina and usually it is reversible. It may persist over hours or even days in patients after an episode of ischemia followed by reperfusion, leading to the so-called condition of stunning. In patients with persistent limitation of coronary flow, left ventricular dysfunction may be present over months and years, or indefinitely in subjects with fibrosis, scar formation, and remodeling after myocardial infarction. Bowever, chronic left ventricular dysfunction does not mean permanent or irreversible cell damage. Bypoperfused myocytes can remain viable but akinetic. This type of dysfunction has been called hibernating myocardium. The dysfunction due to hibernation can be partially or completely restored to normal by reperfusion. It is, therefore, important to clinically recognize a hibernating myocardium. In the present article we evaluate stunning and hibernation with respect to clinical decision making and, when possible, we refer to our ongoing clinical experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
Issue number2 Supplement
Publication statusPublished - May 1994


  • hibernation
  • left ventricular dysfunction
  • stunning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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