Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Sep;38(3):854-9.

Differential effects of pentaerythritol tetranitrate and nitroglycerin on the development of tolerance and evidence of lipid peroxidation: a human in vivo study.

Author information

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



We investigated the development of nitrate tolerance after continuous exposure to nitroglycerin (GTN) as compared with pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) in humans.


Sustained therapy with GTN causes tolerance and has been associated with increased production of free oxygen radicals by the endothelium. Pentaerythritol tetranitrate is an organic nitrate that has been used in the therapy of angina. There have been no investigations concerning the development of tolerance to PETN in humans. Animal investigations suggested that continuous therapy with PETN does not cause increased free radical production or hemodynamic tolerance.


We randomized 30 healthy volunteers to continuous GTN (0.6 mg/h/24 h), long-acting PETN (60 mg orally three times a day) or no treatment (control group) for seven days. We studied systemic blood pressure responses and venous volume responses to GTN with strain-gauge plethysmography. The levels of cytotoxic aldehydes and isoprostanes were measured as markers of free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation.


Tolerance, as demonstrated by blood pressure and forearm plethysmography, developed in the GTN group and was absent in the PETN group (p < 0.05). Therapy with GTN was associated with a significant increase in plasma markers of lipid peroxidation. This response was not observed in those treated with PETN (isoprostanes: control: 38 +/- 5; GTN: 59 +/- 6; PETN: 38 +/- 3 microg/ml; p < 0.005).


Treatment with PETN does not cause tolerance and is not associated with evidence of increased free radical production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center