Effect of infused adenosine on cardiac output and systemic resistance in normal subjects

A. Bush, C. M. Busst, B. Clarke, P. J. Barnes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    1. The purine nucleoside adenosine relaxes smooth muscle in vitro and is a vasodilator in animals, but its effects on cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance have not been measured in normal conscious human subjects. 2. We have studied effects of infused adenosine in doses of 0.005, 0.03 and 0.07 mg kg-1 min-1 on pulmonary blood flow and systemic vascular resistance in eight healthy volunteers, using a non-invasive inert gas method and mass spectrometry. 3. At a dose of 0.07 mg kg-1 min-1, there was a rise in effective pulmonary blood flow (which is approximately equivalent to cardiac output) of 0.52 ± 0.08 l min-1 m-2 (mean + s.e. mean) and a fall in estimated systemic vascular resistance of 357 ± 44 dyn s cm-5. Despite this marked systemic vasodilation, there was no significant change in mean heart rate. 4. The effects of this dose of adenosine were maximal 2 min after starting the infusion, and had disappeared within 5 min of stopping it. 5. Adenosine may be therapeutically useful in the reduction of left ventricular afterload, where the absence of reflex tachycardia may be advantageous. We suggest that adenosine in doses of 0.03 mg kg-1 min-2 should be evaluated as a selective pulmonary vasodilator.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-171
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1989


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