Objectives. The study was designed to assess the feasibility of conducting a trial to investigate whether exercise and low molecular weight heparin therapy with dalteparin sodium (Fragmin) would improve collateral function to the ischemic myocardium in patients with coronary artery disease. Background. The severity of myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease is at least partly dependent on the status of the collateral circulation. Therefore, improvement in collateral function would potentially provide a unique way of alleviating myocardial ischemia. Because the combination of ischemia and heparin has previously been demonstrated to enhance collateral growth, we studied the anti-ischemic effects of combined treatment with dalteparin sodium and exercise-induced ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease. Methods. Twenty-three patients with stable coronary artery disease were randomized to receive either subcutaneous dalteparin sodium or placebo for a 4-week period. Patients received either placebo or 10,000 IU of dalteparin sodium by subcutaneous injection once daily for weeks 1 and 2 and 5,000 IU daily for weeks 3 and 4. During the 1st 2 weeks, patients were exercised to ischemia three times a day. At baseline and 4 weeks after treatment, treadmill exercise testing, exercise radionuclide ventriculography nd 48-h ambulatory ST segment monitoring were performed. Results. Eight (80%) of the 10 dalteparin sodium-treated patients compared with 4 (31%) of 13 placebo-treated patients (p < 0.02) had an increased rate-pressure product at the onset of 1 mm of ST segment depression. The duration of exercise to ischemia increased in all patients treated with low molecular weight heparin and in 62% of placebo-treated patients (p < 0.03). The number and duration of episodes of ST segment depression during ambulatory monitoring decreased by 30% and 35%, respectively (p < 0.05), in the dalteparin sodium group but were unchanged in the placebo group. The decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction with exercise was lower in 80% of dalteparin sodium-treated patients compared with 54% of placebo-treated patients (p = 0.06). When all five factors reflecting collateral function were considered together in a multivariate analysis of variance, there was a significant improvement in low molecular weight heparin-treated patients compared with placebo-treated patients (p = 0.014). Conclusions. This study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that exercise and low molecular weight heparin therapy with dalteparin sodium lessen myocardial ischemia and that the improvement is likely to be mediated by enhanced collateral function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine