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The Effects of Olprinone, a Phosphodiesterase 3 Inhibitor, on Systemic and Cerebral Circulation

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Olprinone, a phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3 inhibitor, is used to treat heart failure due to its positive inotropic and vasodilative effects. Selective inhibition of the PDE 3 isozyme increases intracellular adenosine 3'5'-cyclic monophosphate and enhances Ca2+ influx into cardiac muscle cells. The most significant advantage of PDE 3 inhibitors is their ability not only to enhance myocardial contraction, but to reduce, through vasodilatory action, the stress to which the heart is subjected. In peripheral vessels, the decrease of cytosolic free Ca2+ induces the vasorelaxation of vascular smooth muscle cells. In this way, olprinone reduces mean aortic and pulmonary artery pressures. Additionally, olprinone exerts differential vasodilatory effects on peripheral vessels in each organ, based on the differences in the distribution of PDE 3 among the organs. With respect to the cerebral circulation, olprinone augments blood flow in the cerebral cortex through direct vasodilatory effects on small cerebral arteries or arterioles. Olprinone increases hepatosplanchnic blood flow and improves oxygen supply. While long-term therapy with PDE 3 inhibitors in patients with chronic heart failure may accelerate the progress of the underlying disease and provoke serious ventricular arrhythmia, olprinone shows good potential for short-term treatment in patients who have experienced severe heart failure or patients who have undergone cardiac surgery.

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Keywords: Phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor; arterial distensibility; bronchodilator; cardiac function; cerebral circulation; olprinone; renal function; splanchnic circulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cardiovascular Division, Takamatsuhigashi National Hospital, Otsu 8, Shinden-cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-0193, Japan;

Publication date: January 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Vascular disease is the commonest cause of death in Westernized countries and its incidence is on the increase in developing countries. It follows that considerable research is directed at establishing effective treatment for acute vascular events. Long-term treatment has also received considerable attention (e.g. for symptomatic relief). Furthermore, effective prevention, whether primary or secondary, is backed by the findings of several landmark trials.

    Vascular disease is a complex field with primary care physicians and nurse practitioners as well as several specialties involved. The latter include cardiology, vascular and cardio thoracic surgery, general medicine, radiology, clinical pharmacology and neurology (stroke units). Current Vascular Pharmacology will publish reviews to update all those concerned with the treatment of vascular disease. For example, reviews commenting on recently published trials or new drugs will be included. In addition to clinically relevant topics we will consider 'research-based' reviews dealing with future developments and potential drug targets. Therefore, another function of Current Vascular Pharmacology is to bridge the gap between clinical practice and ongoing research.

    Debates will also be encouraged in the correspondence section of this journal.
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