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Circulation. 1987 Sep;76(3):577-84.

Incidence of early tolerance to hemodynamic effects of continuous infusion of nitroglycerin in patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure.


Sustained therapy with nitroglycerin (NTG) has been reported to provoke the development of early tolerance. Because continuous intravenous NTG infusion is commonly used in patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure, we evaluated the incidence of early tolerance developed within the first 24 hr of therapy in 31 responders to NTG. After documentation of response to NTG, defined as a 10 mm Hg or greater or a 30% or greater reduction in mean pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP), 16 patients were blindly, randomly assigned to receive placebo and 15 patients were continued on same-dose NTG. Both groups showed an identical fall in PAWP at peak NTG titration (11 +/- 4 mm Hg). Discontinuation of NTG in the placebo group resulted in a rapid increase in PAWP to levels not significantly different from baseline (19 +/- 5 mm Hg at 2 hr vs 23 +/- 6 mm Hg at baseline; p = NS). In the NTG group, PAWP fell from 27 +/- 9 to 14 +/- 7 mm Hg, was 16 +/- 9 mm Hg at 2 hr (p less than .05 vs baseline), and continued to be significantly lower than baseline for 8 hr; however, due to attenuation of effect, PAWP values at 12, 20, and 24 hr were not significantly different from placebo or baseline values.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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