Augmented alpha-Adrenergic Constriction of Atherosclerotic Human Coronary Arteries

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Abstract

Background

Although adrenergic activation plays a major role in the initiation of experimental myocardial ischemia, the significance of alpha-adrenergic coronary constriction in humans has been questioned. The present study assessed the impact of selective alpha-adrenergic receptor activation in patients with normal or atherosclerotic coronary arteries.

Conclusions

In normal coronary arteries, alpha1-adrenergic activation does not reduce CBF, whereas alpha2-adrenergic activation reduces CBF by microvascular constriction. Both alpha1- and alpha2-adrenergic epicardial and microvascular constriction are augmented by atherosclerosis and can induce myocardial ischemia. (Circulation. 1999;99:2090-2097.)

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