Detrimental effects of acute heparin administration on ischemic threshold in patients with coronary artery disease

G. Fragasso, F. Leonardo, P. Piatti, L. D. Monti, I. Sheiban, F. Gernone, E. Setola, A. E. Pontiroli, S. L. Chierchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Recent studies have indicated that heparin administration might decrease endothelial nitric oxide production. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of heparin on ischemic threshold. Methods. Eighteen patients with a positive exercise test and proven coronary artery disease were submitted to a randomized, placebo-controlled trial using i.v. 0.9 % NaCl as placebo and i.v. heparin (5000 IU bolus + 1000 IU/h). After both saline and heparin bolus, the infusion was started and, after 10 min, the exercise test was performed. Blood samples for nitric oxide metabolites and free fatty acid determinations were taken before, at peak exercise, and at ECG recovery. Results. As compared to placebo, heparin significantly decreased time to 1 mm ST segment depression (241 ± 160 vs 303 ± 175 s, p = 0.003) and prolonged recovery (573 ± 177 vs 441 ± 195 s, p = 0.003), while exercise duration was similar. Accordingly, rate-pressure product at 1 mm ST segment depression was lower after heparin, while it was similar at peak exercise. No significant differences were found for plasma nitric oxide metabolite levels. Conversely, free fatty acid levels were higher after heparin throughout the study in all patients. The increase in free fatty acids was not correlated with the difference in rate-pressure product at 1 mm ST segment depression between placebo and heparin (r = 0.34, p = NS). Conclusions. In patients with stable coronary artery disease, heparin significantly decreased exercise ischemic threshold. The lower rate-pressure product at 1 mm ST segment depression during heparin, compared to placebo, suggests an impairment of coronary blood flow, which does not seem to be mediated by decreased nitric oxide production/release. The increased free fatty acid release, on the other hand, might contribute to the detrimental effect of heparin on exercise-induced ischemia, but the lack of a correlation with changes in ischemic threshold suggests that other, still unknown, factors are involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-411
Number of pages5
JournalItalian Heart Journal
Volume1
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Exercise testing
  • Free fatty acids
  • Heparin
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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