The researchers, led by Professor David Lefer from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, developed a model for inducing heart failure in mice by blocking their left coronary arteries.
They then administered hydrogen sulphide intravenously once a day over the course of a week.
Four weeks after artery blockage, they found that mice which had been treated with hydrogen sulphide had an ejection fraction, a measure of heart function, about a third larger than the control mice.
The research team concluded that the study demonstrated that hydrogen sulphide could be used to blunt the impact of heart failure on heart function and mortality.
The findings were presented at the annual American Heart Association scientific sessions in New Orleans last week.
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