Thallium 201 (201Tl) myocardial scans were obtained in 16 patients just prior to the discontinuation of a vasopressin infusion (.1 to .2 units/min) administered for the treatment of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Repeat scintigraphy was performed two to three hours after the vasopressin was stopped. Eleven of the 16 patients (69 percent) demonstrated areas of decreased myocardial 201Tl uptake that resolved after the infusion was stopped. Heart rate-blood pressure product was significantly lower at the time of the second scan. Autopsies were secured in three of 11 scan-positive patients: one had severe coronary artery obstruction, one nonsignificant disease, and another had normal coronary arteries. Vasopressin, even at low doses, can induce abnormalities in myocardial perfusion that are probably mediated by a direct effect on the coronary circulation. They are usually not detectable by routine monitoring techniques and conceivably form the basis for the cardiovascular morbidity associated with the use of this agent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine