◎ Reporter Li Liyun Correspondent Yi Xiaofeng and Zhang Jiawen

At present, cardiovascular diseases have become a serious threat to human health. Although various new drugs and technologies are constantly emerging, which can effectively prolong the lives of patients, the medical burden caused by heart failure, the terminal state of various heart diseases, is becoming heavier, and about 40% of patients' quality of life is seriously affected, and 30% of patients' social activities are affected. This requires researchers to continue to explore and find new means and new treatments to better curb cardiovascular diseases.

Recently, the 9th National Conference on Hydrogen Biomedicine was held in Haikou City, Hainan Province. At the meeting, Professor Yang Wei, member of the Prevention Group of the Cardiovascular Medicine Society of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association and Director of the Department of Cardiology of the Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, was invited to report a series of basic and clinical research results of hydrogen molecules in cardiovascular diseases, showing the important value and prospects of hydrogen medicine in the field of cardiovascular diseases.

According to reports, hydrogen, which is listed first in the periodic table, has the most content and the smallest molecular weight in the universe. Hydrogen is the lightest gas in the world, weighing 89.9 grams per cubic meter, which is only the weight of 1.5 eggs. In the 20s of the 70th century, American scholars tried high-pressure hydrogen for the treatment of cancer. However, due to safety hazards such as high pressure and flammability, the medical process of hydrogen is still unsatisfactory. After entering the 21st century, some Japanese scholars have found that inhalation of trace amounts of hydrogen has a significant effect on cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Since then, the safety, practicability and potential of hydrogen have attracted more and more attention from the international medical community.

Since 2009, Yang Wei's team has carried out 14 years of hard research on topics such as hydrogen to improve myocardial infarction, heart failure, myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, diabetic cardiomyopathy, hyperthyroid heart disease, etc., and has successively achieved a series of scientific research results. In the treatment of myocardial injury, the team injected hydrogen-rich saline into an experimental animal model of myocardial injury caused by the antitumor drug doxorubicin, which significantly reduced the heart and liver damage caused by chemotherapy drugs, reduced the cytotoxic response of the drug, alleviated organ disorders, and reduced the mortality rate of experimental animals. In terms of the treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy, for the streptozotocin-induced diabetic mouse model, Yang Wei's team gave the experimental mice 2% hydrogen inhalation for 3 hours every day, which significantly inhibited the expression of pyroptosis and cardiomyocyte fibrosis in the experimental mice. The combination of hydrogen and metformin, a hypoglycemic drug, had a more significant effect on correcting diabetic myocardial structural abnormalities and enhancing cardiac function in experimental animals.

The above results confirm that hydrogen has a definite effect on myocardial injury and diabetic cardiomyopathy in mice, but it is difficult to further play a role in clinical application due to the limitations of hydrogen storage, targeted delivery and controlled release. In this regard, Yang Wei's team has developed a hydrogen-carrying perfluoroctane molecular imaging probe for the first time, which has good biosafety and high hydrogen carrying capacity, and can target the release of hydrogen infiltration into ischemic myocardium by controlling the release of hydrogen with low-frequency focused ultrasound. While accurately monitoring myocardial ischemia, it helps to reduce the myocardial infarction area of mice, restore their cardiac function, and save the surviving myocardium. The results were recently published online in the international journal Advanced Science.

According to peer evaluation, the research results of Yang Wei's team provide translational clinical ideas for overcoming heart failure, atherosclerosis, tumor-induced heart injury and other diseases, so that hydrogen is expected to be popularized and applied in the medical field in the future with its advantages of selective antioxidant, high permeability, safety, cleanliness and low cost.