The effects of dipyridamole on blood flow and oxygen handling in the acutely ischaemic and normal canine myocardium


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The effects of the intravenous administration of dipyridamole (0·25 mg/kg) were examined in a canine preparation that enabled simultaneous measurements to be made of blood flow in ischaemic and in essentially normal areas of the myocardium and also of oxygen handling (availability, consumption and extraction) in both these regions. When administered to dogs anaesthetized with trichlorethylene 2–3 h after acute ligation of the descending branch of the left coronary artery, dipyridamole markedly increased blood flow in essentially normal regions (left circumflex flow) but failed to increase flow in the area supplied by the ligated vessel (measured by 133xenon clearance and by retrograde flow). In five of the six animals definite decreases in flow (stealing) were observed in the ischaemic region. These flow changes were related to the decreased trans‐ventricular perfusion pressure (diastolic peripheral coronary pressure minus left ventricular end‐diastolic pressure) and were accompanied by electrocardiographic evidence of increasingly severe myocardial ischaemia. The results support the suggestion that only increasing the perfusion gradient will usefully improve blood flow (and hence oxygen availability) to the acutely ischaemic myocardium. Despite these effects on ischaemic muscle blood flow, the oxygen tension of the blood draining the infarcting muscle was markedly elevated. The conclusion is drawn that dipyridamole decreases the efficiency of the myocardial circulation by opening up vessels that do not take part in tissue exchange. 1973 British Pharmacological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-399
Number of pages9
JournalBritish journal of pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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