Is reperfusion injury?

Reperfusion injury. Reperfusion injury refers to tissue damage caused when blood supply returns to the tissue after a period of ischemia or lack of oxygen. The absence of oxygen and nutrients from blood during the ischemic period creates a condition in which the restoration of circulation results in leaking from blood vessel the substances that produce damage to tissue - the degraded enzymes create further damage.
Great Question! Reperfusion injury is something that occurs when an organ or extremity is denied blood flow (perfusion) and subsequently blood flow is restored. At this point, without very specific therapy and monitoring, reperfusion injury can ensue. The cytotoxins are released at this point, with resultant cellular injury and apoptosis occurring. This can lead to limb or organ damage/loss.

Related Questions

How can a reperfusion injury be lethal?

Organ failure. Reperfusion injuries are rare, complex. Loss of blood flow comes with swelling and increased pressure in limb. The leg's fascial compartments can not expand. When blood flow is restored and compartments released, reperfusion occurs. The metabolic waste products previously trapped, now get out of the leg. These waste products can overwhelm the other organs, shutting them down. Read more...
Hyperkalemia. Reperfusion of a severely ischemic limb like the leg washes all the toxic breakdown products of the ischemic injury into the circulation. Potassium is one of these and so the patient can become very hyperkalemic (high blood lveels of potassium) and this can cause fatal cardiac arrhythmias. Read more...

Why does lethal reperfusion injury develop so rapidly?

Blood flow restored. When the blood flow is restored to area that was hurt or damaged the blood vessel is not able to maintain its elasticity so the blood products leak and the damage occurs since the blood is in a place it should not be. New research points to cardiac death being secondary to reperfusion injury and research is being focused on this issue for future learing. Read more...
Free radicals. It is due to free radicals that are formed during ischemia. Basically the sudden gush of oxygen itself is bad. Read more...

Are thrombolytic therapy and reperfusion injury related, and how?

Sort of. Thrombolytic therapy entails breaking off a blocked vessel due to a clot. In the process reperfusion injury can occur to surrounding tissues due to transient lack of oxygen and inflammatory reactions. Read more...
Could be. Reperfusion injury can occure whenever blood flow is blocked and then blood flow is reestabilished. Thrombolytic rx is one way to reestabilished blood flow in an blocked artery. Other ways to reestabilished blood flow include surgery, bypass, angioplasty, stent placement to name a few. Read more...