The temporal pattern of metabolic alterations in muscle tissue during total ischaemia and reperfusion are not well-characterized in humans with respect to glutathione, amino acids and energy-rich compounds. In the present study, knee replacement surgery was used as a clinical model to elucidate this pattern of metabolic alterations. Patients (n=15) undergoing elective knee replacement surgery employing tourniquet ischaemia were studied. Muscle biopsies were taken from the quadriceps femoris muscle on the operated side preoperatively, at maximal ischaemia and after 24 h of reperfusion. The biopsies were analysed for glutathione, amino acids and energy-rich compounds. In addition the patients were randomized to receive either glucose or a mannitol infusion in the 24 h following tourniquet ischaemia. During ischaemia, muscle lactate increased by 400% (P<0.05) and phosphocreatine decreased by 70% (P<0.05). During the subsequent 24 h of reperfusion, muscle-reduced glutathione and total glutathione decreased by 27% and 22% (P<0.05) respectively. The muscle amino acid pattern changed during ischaemia with an increase in alanine by 65% (P<0.001) and a decrease in glutamate by 29% (P<0.001). During the reperfusion part of the study, no differences attributable to the infusion of mannitol or glucose were observed. During tourniquet ischaemia and subsequent reperfusion, changes in glutathione metabolism developed, indicating oxidative stress. Knee replacement surgery as a clinical model was useful during the ischaemia period, whereas the reperfusion period was dominated by the general changes seen postoperatively.

You do not currently have access to this content.