Altered spectrum of nitroglycerin action in long-term treatment: nitroglycerin-specific venous tolerance with maintenance of arterial vasodepressor potency.
The study of venodilator tolerance to nitroglycerin has been complicated by reflex compensation and by problems in analyzing venous tone in the presence of multiple determinants of venous pressure. We assessed venous tone as total effective vascular compliance (TEVC) under autonomic blockade in six dogs, in the nontolerant state, and during a 5 day infusion of nitroglycerin (1.5 micrograms/kg/min). Under long-term treatment, baseline TEVC was unaffected and the nitroglycerin dose-response relationship for TEVC was shifted to greater than 10-fold higher doses, whereas baseline mean arterial pressure (MAP) was lowered by 17 +/- 3 mm Hg without any shift in nitroglycerin responsiveness. This lowering of MAP was observed only after autonomic blockade. In six additional dogs instrumented with aortic flow probes, nitroglycerin (1.5 micrograms/kg/min) induced a 15 +/- 1% decline in peripheral vascular resistance (PVR) under autonomic blockade, but with reflexes intact these dogs showed no change in PVR and a 21 +/- 10% increase in norepinephrine release rate. We conclude that modest long-term exposure to nitroglycerin results in tolerance to its venodilating effects, whereas arteriolar action is maintained. This tolerance-induced shift in action from venous toward arteriolar dilation is normally masked by compensatory reflexes.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association