Author + information
- Received November 13, 1989
- Revision received January 16, 1990
- Accepted April 13, 1990
- Published online October 1, 1990.
- Jocelyn Dupuis, MD1,
- Guy Lalonde, MD, FACC1,
- Raymond Lemieux, MD1 and
- Jean L. Rouleau, MD, FACC*,1,2
- ↵*Address for reprints: Jean L. Rouleau, MD, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Sherbrooke. 3000, 122 lerne Avenue, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada J1H 5N4.
To better understand the mechanism of nitrate tolerance in patients with congestive heart failure, 13 patients received a 24 h infusion of nitroglycerin (1.5 μg/kg body weight per min) with or without N-acetylcysteine (225 mg/kg per 24 h). The infusions were separated by a 24 h nitrate-free interval. By the end of the nitroglycerin infusion, mean arterial pressure had returned to baseline values and there was a significant increase in ventricular filling pressures and systemic vascular resistance compared with values after 1 h of treatment. The simultaneous infusion of N-acetylcysteine had no effect on these changes.
Although a strict fluid restriction of 1.5 liters/day was maintained for 1 week before and throughout the study, after 24 h of nitroglycerin infusion there was a significant and similar degree of hemodilution whether nitroglycerin was infused alone (9.1 ± 4.3%) or with N-acetylcysteine (8.7 ± 4.1%). This hemodilution corresponded to an increase in intravascular volume of 745 ± 382 ml, most of which occurred during the 1st h. Plasma renin activity increased and plasma atrial natriuretic peptide decreased during the infusion.
The results of this study suggest that nitrate tolerance is multifactorial. In addition to the previously described pharmacologic tolerance to the effect of nitroglycerin on vascular smooth muscle, a capillary fluid shift from the extravascular to intravascular space appears to be involved, especially during the 1st h of the infusion. A third mechanism, reflex neurohumoral activation, also seems to contribute to the genesis of nitroglycerin tolerance.
- Received November 13, 1989.
- Revision received January 16, 1990.
- Accepted April 13, 1990.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation