Intravenous nitroglycerin in the treatment of spontaneous angina pectoris: a prospective, randomized trial.
A prospective, randomized study of i.v. nitroglycerin (TNG) in the management of repetitive spontaneous angina pectoris was undertaken in 40 consecutive patients. The clinical effectiveness of i.v. TNG (group A) was compared with that of oral isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN) and topical 2% nitroglycerin ointment (NO) in combination (group B) during a 72-hour treatment period. The doses of both nitrate regimens were adjusted so that the mean arterial pressure in the two groups was reduced by 15 +/- 3% of control values to the same level (77 mm Hg). The i.v. TNG dose of 10-200 micrograms/min yielded arterial plasma TNG levels of 1.2-65.3 ng/ml and estimated plasma (arterial) clearance of 106 +/- 55 ml/min/kg of body weight (mean +/- SD). In group B, the doses were 20-60 mg (oral ISDN) and 1/2-2 inches (NO) every 6 hours. Intravenous TNG reduced the number of spontaneous ischemic episodes from 3.3 +/- 0.8 per 24 hours during the control period to 1.0 +/- 0.3 per 24 hours during the treatment period (p less than 0.01), while the ISDN/NO combination reduced the number of episodes from 3.1 +/- 0.4 to 1.4 +/- 0.3 (p less than 0.01). Overall, the magnitude of the therapeutic effect of i.v. TNG was statistically indistinguishable from that of ISDN/NO, although i.v. TNG did have somewhat greater clinical benefit on day 2 of the 3-day treatment period. Furthermore, the data suggested more consistent control of ischemic episodes with i.v. TNG during the first 24 hours of the trial. Although both regimens markedly reduced the frequency of spontaneous ischemic episodes, only 36% of patients in group A and 17% in group B experienced no ischemic episodes during the study period (NS). Forty-three percent of patients in group A and 61% in group B (NS) required early coronary artery bypass surgery to control recurrent ischemic episodes refractory to medical therapy. We conclude that i.v. TNG and ISDN/NO, when administered in doses adjusted to produce similar effects on systemic arterial pressure, have nearly equivalent clinical effects in the management of patients with frequent episodes of spontaneous angina pectoris. Intravenous TNG offers the advantage of more consistent control of ischemic episodes during the first 24 hours of treatment. Nevertheless, the recurrence rate of spontaneous ischemic episodes during medical therapy is high with both regimens, and early coronary artery bypass surgery may be required for long-term management.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association