Studies in Vitro and in Vivo on the Effect of Gallopamil on Coronary Vessels
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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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