Metabolic markers of stress-induced myocardial ischemia

Paolo Camici, Paolo Marraccini, Roberto Lorenzoni, Eleuterio Ferrannini, Giuseppe Buzzigoli, Mario Marzilli, Antonio L'Abbate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human heart in the fasting state extracts free fatty acids (FFA), glucose, lactate, pyruvate, and ketones from circulating blood. The utilization of FFA accounts for most of the oxygen consumed and energy produced at rest. Patients with angiographically demonstrable coronary artery disease and stable angina pectoris have a resting myocardial metabolism similar to that of normal individuals. During atrial pacing in normal persons, there is a significant enhancement of glucose uptake but that of FFA is unchanged, and the oxidation of carbohydrates accounts for more than 60% of the energy produced. In patients with stable angina, myocardial perfusion becomes regionally inadequate during stress. Despite the increase of myocardial glucose utilization, carbohydrate oxidation is negligible. Pyruvate will not be oxidized but in the presence of increased amounts of reduced coenzymes will be reduced to lactate. In addition, a greater amount of alanine will be released by the myocardium through the transamination of pyruvate, with a concomitantly greater uptake of glutamate that serves as the NH2, donor. In addition, glutamate may be used as an anaerobic fuel through conversion to succinate coupled with GTP formation. Although coronary hemodynamics, including myocardial perfusion, return to baseline within a few minutes after stress, a longer time course is needed for myocardial metabolism to become normal. In particular, myocardial utilization of exogenous glucose remains higher well after the normalization of hemodynamic parameters. This is more pronounced in postischemic myocardium, but it also occurs in nonischemic muscle, and glucose is presumably used for rebuilding glycogen stores that were depleted during ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Intermediary metabolism
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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