Comparison of the effects of nifedipine and nitroglycerin on hemodynamic determinants of myocardial oxygen consumption and supply during exertional angina

Choong, C.Y.; Freedman, S.B.; Roubin, G.S.; Shen, W.F.; Bautovich, G.J.; Harris, P.J.; Kelly, D.T.

Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 13(3): 361-369


ISSN/ISBN: 0160-2446
PMID: 2471880
DOI: 10.1097/00005344-198903000-00002
Accession: 007143257

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To investigate the antianginal action of nitroglycerin and nifedipine, systemic and right heart pressures, cardiac output, oxygen consumption, and radionuclide left ventricular ejection fraction and volume were measured in 14 men with stable effort angina and a positive exercise electrocardiogram. Exercise tests were performed on a semiupright bicycle ergometer on no therapy and after intravenous nitroglycerin and sublingual nifedipine, which lowered mean arterial pressure by 20 mm Hg. Exercise tolerance improved from 50 +/- 4 to 61 +/- 5 W on nifedipine and to 79 +/- 4 W on nitroglycerin (p less than 0.01, nitroglycerin vs. nifedipine). At submaximal workloads, both drugs decreased arterial pressure and ventricular volumes, but heart rate was higher on nifedipine. At peak exercise on nitroglycerin (79 W), oxygen consumption, cardiac index, heart rate, and rate-pressure product were significantly increased over peak control and nifedipine values, while systolic pressure and end-diastolic volume were unchanged. Nitroglycerin reduced pulmonary wedge pressure more and systemic diastolic pressure less than nifedipine, so the coronary perfusion gradient was reduced by nifedipine and maintained by nitroglycerin. Also, there was less angina and ST-segment depression after nitroglycerin compared to control or nifedipine, and the left ventricular diastolic pressure-volume relationship was improved only by nitroglycerin. This suggests that the action of nitroglycerin in reducing ischemia is not only due to reduced myocardial oxygen demand, but that myocardial oxygen delivery may also be increased.