Intravascular Platelet Aggregation in the Heart Induced by Norepinephrine
Aggregated platelets and occlusive platelet thrombi were found in small myocardial vessels of dogs on electron-microscope examination after prolonged infusion of norepinephrine. The etiology of the myocardial necrosis and fibrosis induced by catecholamines in experimental animals and seen in patients with pheochromocytoma and patients after norepinephrine treatment for shock may be related to this intravascular platelet-aggregating effect of catecholamines. The link between stress and acute myocardial infarction may be via catecholamine-induced intravascular platelet thrombosis. If the thrombogenic theory of atherosclerosis is valid, platelet aggregation induced by catecholamines may be the mechanism whereby arteriosclerotic heart disease is related to stress.
- Received March 16, 1972.
- Accepted May 2, 1972.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.