Effects of long-term transdermal nitrate treatment on left ventricular function in patients following myocardial infarction

Csaba Kiraly, Attila Kiss, Sandor Timar, Eva Kristof, Ida Hegedus, Istvan Edes

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Background: Nitrates are widely used for the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). The large megatrials (GISSI-3 and ISIS-4) did not in fact demonstrate a significant decrease in mortality in the nitrate-treated group. However, examination of the number of postinfarction angina episodes and the occurrence of cardiogenic shock in the GISSI-3 study did reveal significant decreases. Hypothesis: It was hypothesized that chronic nitrate treatment after an MI preserves left ventricular systolic and/or diastolic functions. Methods: Patients were divided into two groups: those receiving chronic nitrate treatment for 6 months after an MI (n = 30), and those without such treatment (n = 29). Echocardiography was performed 3, 14, 42, and 180 days after the infarction. The changes in early diastolic and atrial contraction-related mitral valve inflow pattern and deceleration time were assayed. Alterations in systolic, diastolic, and atrial reverse flow velocities in the pulmonary vein were measured, as were ejection fraction (EF), the number of registered angina episodes, and the maximal ST-segment depression in response to the stress test. Results: During the 6-month study period, the increase in systolic pulmonary venous flow velocity was significantly larger in the nitrate group than in the controls. The decreases in the velocities of the diastolic and the atrial reverse flow were also more pronounced in the nitrate group than in the controls. The EF was improved only in the nitrate group. Examination of the maximal ST-segment depression in response to the stress test revealed a significant decrease in the nitrate group only. There were no significant differences between the two groups in the number of registered angina episodes or mitral inflow pattern. Conclusions: The study showed that prolonged nitrate treatment after an MI may help preserve diastolic left ventricular function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003



  • Diastole
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Nitrate
  • Pulmonary veins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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