Cocaine-Induced Microvascular Spasm in Yucatan Miniature Swine: In Vivo and In Vitro Evidence of Spasm

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The purpose of the present study was to determine the maximal coronary flow reserve (CFR) before and after the administration of successive cocaine doses (0.1,0.5,3, and 7 mg/kg IV) for 2 minutes at 10-minute intervals in eight miniature swine. CFR was assessed by the administration of adenosine (0.03, 0.3, and 3 mg IC). Hemodynamic and flow measurements were performed 3 minutes after each dose. Coronary flow (CF) was measured with a Doppler-tipped wire in the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). Also, microvessels were dissected, and vessel diameters were measured by a videoelectronic dimension analyzer. In vivo, LAD CF increased fourfold, CFR increased twofold, and coronary vascular resistance (CVR) decreased fourfold after the administration of adenosine. In contrast, LAD CF decreased threefold, CFR decreased onefold, and CVR increased sixfold 3 minutes after the administration of cocaine. Adenosine (3 mg) was repeated 4 minutes after the administration of cocaine, and LAD CF increased 1.4-fold, CVR increased 2.5-fold, and CFR decreased onefold. Thus, adenosine partially reversed the potent cocaine constrictor effect. In vitro, 10−9 mol/L cocaine decreased the diameter of the coronary microvessels from 129±12 to 127±12 μm, and 10−4 mol/L cocaine decreased coronary microvessel diameter to 114±15 μm (P<.05). In conclusion, cocaine in vivo decreases CFR, and consistent with the in vivo effect, cocaine in vitro produced constriction of vessels <200 μm. These results indicate that cocaine can produce profound microvascular spasm. This may contribute to the ischemia/infarction reported in patients who abuse cocaine and who are subsequently found to have normal epicardial coronary arteries.

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