Comparative effects of verapamil, diltiazem, and nifedipine on hemodynamics and left ventricular function during acute myocardial ischemia in dogs

Urquhart, J.; Patterson, R.E.; Bacharach, S.L.; Green, M.V.; Speir, E.H.; Aamodt, R.; Epstein, S.E.

Circulation 69(2): 382-390


ISSN/ISBN: 0009-7322
PMID: 6690104
DOI: 10.1161/01.cir.69.2.382
Accession: 042609039

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The calcium channel-blocking drugs verapamil, diltiazem, and nifedipine are being used with increasing frequency in patients with angina pectoris due to coronary artery disease. Although each of these agents possesses negative inotropic potential, their relative effects on myocardial function in relation to their vasodilator potencies are unknown. We understood to study this in 20 conscious dogs that had partial occlusions of their circumflex coronary arteries during therapy with placebo, verapamil, nifedipine, or diltiazem. Myocardial blood flow was measured by use of microspheres, and left ventricular function was measured by radionuclide angiography. Drug effects were compared at doses causing equal decreases in mean arterial pressure and coronary vascular resistance of nonischemic myocardium. Global ejection fraction and ejection fraction of the ischemic region were significantly decreased by verapamil (p less than .01) and increased by nifedipine (p less than .001); diltiazem caused no significant changes. Verapamil significantly increased peak diastolic filling rate (p less than .001); nifedipine also increased diastolic filling rate, but only at doses that markedly decreased mean arterial pressure and coronary vascular resistance. The effect of diltiazem on diastolic filling rate was not significantly different than placebo. For doses causing an equal decrease in mean arterial pressure, verapamil decreased heart rate (p less than .001), and diltiazem and nifedipine increased heart rate (p less than .001). We conclude that the relative potencies of these three calcium channel blocking agents on left ventricular systolic and diastolic function during myocardial ischemia are different when compared with their relative vasodilator potencies. These differences may have important clinical implications.