Platelets, vasoconstriction, and nitroglycerin during arterial wall injury. A new antithrombotic role for an old drug.
Endothelial injury in vivo is associated with platelet deposition and a localized platelet-dependent vasoconstrictive response. To assess the influence of nitroglycerin on platelets and vasoconstriction, quantitative 111In-labeled platelet deposition (no platelets x 10(6)/cm2) of the injured segment and the degree of angiographic vasoconstriction (percent diameter narrowing proximal and distal to the dilated segment) produced during injury by balloon angioplasty of the common carotid arteries were studied in heparinized normal pigs that were sacrificed immediately after the procedure. In deeply injured (injury extending through the internal elastic lamina) compared with mildly injured (deendothelialization only) arteries, there was both greater platelet deposition (63.8 vs. 6.9, p = 0.04) and more vasoconstriction (30% vs. 19%, p = 0.02). In the presence of deep arterial wall injury, nitroglycerin given intravenously at a dose sufficient to lower mean arterial pressure by 9 +/- 2% significantly decreased both platelet deposition (16.2 vs. 63.8, p less than 0.008) and the vasoconstrictive response (20 vs. 30%, p less than 0.02) relative to control. However, in the presence of mild arterial wall injury, nitroglycerin decreased vasoconstriction relative to control (10% vs. 19%, p less than 0.01) without causing a significant decrease in the already low level of platelet deposition (5.6 vs. 6.9, respectively; p = NS), suggesting a direct smooth muscle relaxant effect of nitroglycerin. This is the first reported in vivo effectiveness of nitroglycerin in the reduction of platelet deposition after deep arterial injury.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association