Studies of the Central and Peripheral Hemodynamic Effects of Amyl Nitrite in Patients with Aortic Insufficiency
The cardiovascular reaction induced by amyl nitrite was studied in a main group of 11 patients with pronounced and isolated aortic insufficiency, and in an additional and more heterogeneous group of seven patients with moderate aortic insufficiency combined with other lesions, by measuring left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, systemic and peripheral arterial pressures, cardiac output, peripheral blood flow, and venous tone.
Total peripheral resistance decreased, but local vascular resistance differed significantly between the upper and the lower extremities. In most cases arterial dilatation in the forearm (mainly muscle) was found. Simultaneously, there was uniform vasoconstriction in the calf (mainly muscle) which was interpreted to be secondary (baroreceptor reflex). This regional difference in circulatory reaction was also manifested in a pronounced change of the contour of the brachial arterial pulse, while the femoral arterial pulse was practically unchanged. The hand blood flow (skin) decreased while the foot blood flow did not change significantly.
A marked fall in systemic arterial pressure and in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was clearly demonstrated, and secondarily there was a rise in heart rate as well as a pronounced venoconstriction in both the upper and lower extremities, also interpreted to be secondary (a baroreceptor reflex). There was good correlation between maximal increase in heart rate and maximal increase in venous tone and also between the augmentation in heart rate and cardiac output. An elevation in stroke volume was noted in most cases. The reaction to amyl nitrite was not significantly different in the two groups of patients.
- Received May 11, 1970.
- Accepted July 17, 1970.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.