Studies in Vitro and in Vivo on the Effect of Gallopamil on Coronary Vessels
Clinical studies have shown that spasms of the coronary arteries are fairly common and can cause myocardial ischaemia both in arteriosclerotic and in radio-graphically normal coronary arteries. Coronary spasms are not only the cause of Prinzmetal’s angina (variant angina), but are also important in typical angina pectoris and in myocardial infarction (Braunwald 1978; Hellström 1973; Hillis and Braunwald 1978; Maseri et al. 1975, 1978). The mechanisms which trigger coronary spasm are not understood. Experimental results suggest that possible causes are α-adrenergic transmitters, thromboxan A2 from platelets, and serotonin (Ellis et al. 1976; Hillis and Braunwald 1978; Holtz et al. 1978). Our own experimental and clinical studies suggest that the trace element nickel, which can cause vascular contraction and which is found in a higher concentration in the serum of patients, might also be an aetiological factor in coronary vascular spasm (Rubânyi 1981 ; Rubânyi et al. 1981).
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