Vasorelaxant properties of isolated human radial arteries: comparison with internal mammary arteries


      Radial arteries, used in revascularisation surgery, are prone to spasm. We have examined the ability of nitrovasodilators, calcium channel blockers, and KATP channel openers to cause vasodilation, and to attenuate contractions due to depolarisation and receptor activation in radial and mammary arteries used in coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Two to three millimetre rings of artery obtained from patients at surgery were studied in organ baths in vitro. Constriction to KC1 and phenylephrine was examined before and again after treatment of the rings with drug or vehicle. Calcium channel blockers were the only compounds to inhibit contractions to both KC1 and phenylephrine. Sodium nitroprusside attenuated constriction to phenylephrine but not KC1 in both vessels. KATP channel openers similarly attenuated constriction to phenylephrine in radial arteries but were much less effective in mammary arteries. These studies support the continued use of calcium blockers after revascularisation with radial artery but suggest that other classes of drug may be as effective at minimising spasm due to receptor mediated constriction.


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