Effects of sublingual nitroglycerin on resting pulmonary gas exchange and hemodynamics in man.
Simultaneous hemodynamic, ventilation and blood gas measurements were performed in 19 males during cardiac catheterization for evaluation of chest pain syndrome before and 3 to 5 min after 0.4 mg sublingual nitroglycerin. Pulmonary arterial pressures and total pulmonary vascular resistance fell (P less than 0.001 for both), and mean systemic arterial pressure decreased (P less than 0.05). However, peripheral vascular resistance, cardiac output, and mixed venous PO2 did not change. Total and tidal ventilation, PCO2, pH, and base excess remained unchanged. However, the arterial PO2 decreased from a mean of 80 +/- 3 (SEM) to 72 +/- 2 mm Hg (P less than 0.001) and mean venous admixture increased from 8.8 +/- 1% to 12.6 +/- 1.5% (P less than 0.001). The alveolar arterial PO2 difference increased (P less than 0.001) and the dead space tidal volume ratio rose (P less than 0.05). We conclude that the decrease in arterial PO2 following sublingual nitroglycerin is caused by redistribution of pulmonary blood flow with imbalance in ventilation-perfusion relationships or shunting.
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