Electrophysiologic and Arrhythmogenic Effects of the Potassium Channel Agonist BRL 38227 in Anesthetized Dogs

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SummaryAlthough potassium channel openers have been demonstrated to induce arterial vasodilation and shortening of the QT interval, the complete in vivo hemodynamic and electrophysiologic profile of these drugs has not been fully established. We evaluated the effects of BRL 38227, the active enantiomer of cromakalim, on the electrophysiologic and hemodynamic parameters in anesthetized dogs. Four intravenous (i.v.) doses (0.01, 0.03, 0.1, and 0.3 mg/kg) of BRL 38227 (lemakalim) were given to four different groups of 6 anesthetized and mechanically ventilated dogs. Electrophysiologic and hemodynamic parameters were measured with bipolar catheters positioned in the right atria and the right ventricle and double micromanometers placed in the left ventricle and the aorta. Nine dogs died of ventricular fibrillation (VF; 6 of 6 after 0.3 mg/kg, 2 of 8 dogs after 0.1 mg/kg, and 1 of 7 dogs after 0.03 mg/kg BRL 38227). Three dogs had atrial tachycardia (1 had atrial flutter and 1 had atrial fibrillation after 0.03 mg/kg, and 1 had atrial fibrillation after 0.01 mg/kg BRL 38227). BRL 38227 did not modify heart rate (HR), corrected sinus recovery time (CSRT), and atrial or atrio-ventricular (A-V) conduction times. In contrast, PR interval, Luciani-Wenckebach cycle length (LW), HV interval, QRS duration, ventricular effective refractory period (VERP), QT interval, and monophasic action potential (AP) were significantly shortened in a dose-dependent manner. Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) was not modified, whereas LV dP/dtmax decreased significantly at 0.1 mg/kg BRL 38227. Finally, there was a significant dose-dependent decrease in systolic, diastolic, and mean aortic blood pressure (SBP, DBP, MAP). We conclude that BRL 38227 shortens the ventricular parameters of conduction velocity and of repolarization and decreases BP, both in a dose-dependent manner. All doses were arrhythmogenic, suggesting that BRL 38227 has a low safety margin.

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