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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1980 Sep-Oct;2(5):487-515.

Acute and chronic cardiovascular effects of doxorubicin in the dog: the cardiovascular pharmacology of drug-induced histamine release.


We evaluated the acute hemodynamic effects of doxorubicin in the open-chest dog. Doxorubicin at doses of 1-4 mg/kg administered over 2 min produced profound hemodynamic changes that were similar to those produced by histamine. These changes persisted despite administering the drug as a slow infusion. Histamine release in peripheral tissues was documented by a marked increase in venous histamine levels following doxorubicin administration. The heart extracted histamine during a period when arterial levels were increased, as indicated by consistently low coronary sinus/aortic ratios. Secondary catecholamine release occurred in response to histamine and histamine-mediated hemodynamic effects. Immunoreactive prostaglandins E and F were increased in coronary sinus blood beginning 30 min after the initiation of a continuous infusion of doxorubicin, and increased slowly thereafter. H1- and H2-receptor blockade with diphenhydramine and cimetidine prevented the early (2-30 min postinfusion) effects of doxorubicin, and combined histaminergic and adrenergic blockade prevented the late effects. A dose of doxorubicin (1 mg/kg) that released histamine and catecholamines produced primary cardiac effects acutely and a cardiomyopathy when administered chronically. The release of vasoactive substances could be part of the pathogenetic mechanism of anthracycline cardiomyopathy.

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