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Effect of prostacyclin on vascular capacity in the dog.

By T G Fulghum, J P DiMarco, E W Supple, I Nash, J Gendlerman, D F Eton, J B Newell, R M Zusman and W J Powell


Since the discovery of prostacyclin (PGI2) in 1976, there has been great interest in its vascular effects and potential clinical applications. High infusion rates of PGI2 markedly depress arterial blood pressure both in animal studies and in clinical trials. This fall in pressure may result entirely from a decrease in arterial resistance. However, it is possible that the administration of PGI2 may decrease ventricular filling due to an increase in vascular capacity. To investigate whether or not PGI2 affects vascular capacity, we infused PGI2 intraarterially at both 10 and 25 micrograms/min into 15 dogs on total cardiopulmonary bypass. These infusions were associated with a 25 +/- 3 mmHg decrease in arterial pressure and an increase in vascular capacity of 155 +/- 29 ml (SE, P less than 0.005). This increase in capacity was greater (P less than 0.02) than the increase of 23 +/- 42 ml resulting from infusions of nitroglycerin into eight dogs at 2 mg/min, which produced a decrease in arterial pressure of 23 +/- 4 mmHg, which was the maximal effect that could be achieved. Neither bilateral cervical vagotomy nor beta adrenergic blockade with propranolol significantly diminished the increase in vascular capacity associated with infusions of PGI2. The results from studies in four eviscerated dogs indicated that PGI2 acts on both splanchnic and extrasplanchnic capacity vasculature. To compare the direct effects of PGI2 with those of nitroglycerin and nitroprusside on venous tone, we used an isolated canine spleen preparation. Infusions of PGI2 (100 mcg/min) increased spleen weight in this preparation by 9.0 +/- 2.4% (n = 10, P less than 0.001); this increase was significantly greater than increases of 3.6 +/- 2.2% (P less than 0.001) and 3.5 +/- 2.3% (P less than 0.001) caused by high dose infusions of nitroglycerin (1 mg/min) and nitroprusside (400 micrograms/min), respectively. Thus, PGI2 substantially increases vascular capacity by a mechanism that appears to involve a direct action on vascular smooth muscle. Furthermore, these results suggest that PGI2 might be useful in clinical conditions in which an increase in vascular capacity is indicated

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1985
DOI identifier: 10.1172/jci112101
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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