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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2003 Aug;16(8):871-9.

Direct effects of dobutamine on the coronary microcirculation: comparison with adenosine using myocardial contrast echocardiography.

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Cardiovascular Imaging Center, the Cardiovascular Division, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22908, USA.


The direct effects of dobutamine on capillary blood volume (VOL) and blood flow velocity (VEL) are not known. We hypothesized that these would be more similar to that of adenosine because of its effects on the beta(2) receptors on the coronary circulation. A total of 9 open-chest anesthetized dogs were studied after placement of 2 noncritical stenoses at rest and during separate intracoronary administrations of 5 microg/kg(-1)/min(-1) of adenosine and 2 microg/kg(-1)/min(-1) of dobutamine. VOL and VEL were measured using myocardial contrast echocardiography, wall thickening with 2-dimensional echocardiography, and myocardial blood flow (MBF) with radiolabeled microspheres. Dobutamine increased the rate-pressure product significantly, whereas adenosine had no effect on the rate-pressure product. In the normal myocardium, adenosine had no effect on VOL and increases in MBF were all a result of increases in VEL. Dobutamine also caused mostly an increase in VEL and only a 30% increase in VOL indicating modest capillary recruitment. In the bed with stenosis both drugs attenuated increase in MBF by the same amount, which was associated with an attenuation in the increase in VEL secondary to a 15% increase in capillary resistance because of capillary derecruitment. The MBF-wall thickening relation was described for both drugs by the same function: y = 1 - exp(x) with wall thickening being significantly higher for dobutamine compared with adenosine for each level of MBF. We conclude that the increase in MBF in the normal myocardium with intracoronary dobutamine occurs mostly from an increase in VEL rather than from an increase in VOL. In the bed with a noncritical stenosis, the increases in MBF and VEL are similar for both drugs. Similar to intracoronary adenosine, intracoronary dobutamine also caused capillary derecruitment distal to a noncritical coronary stenosis.

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