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Effects of sumatriptan and eletriptan on diseased epicardial coronary arteries.

Author(s): Newman CM, Starkey I, Buller N, Seabra-Gomes R, Kirby S, Hettiarachchi J, Cumberland D, Hillis WS

Affiliation(s): Division of Clinical Sciences (North), Cardiovascular Research Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S5 7AU, UK, c.newman@sheffield.ac.uk.

Publication date & source: 2005-11, Eur J Clin Pharmacol., 61(10):733-42. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

Background: Triptans are contraindicated in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD); however, few studies have evaluated triptans in patients with obstructive CAD to quantify the vasoconstrictive effect on diseased coronary vessels. Methods: Patients undergoing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty for symptomatic single-vessel CAD were randomised to one of three parallel cohorts to receive (1) 6 mg intravenously (IV) infused eletriptan plus subcutaneous (SC) placebo, (2) IV infused placebo plus 6 mg SC sumatriptan or (3) IV infused placebo plus SC placebo, as simultaneous administrations in a double-blind manner. Serial arteriograms, hemodynamic indices, electrocardiography and triptan plasma concentrations were obtained. Results:. Fifteen minutes after triptan challenge, median (95% confidence interval) changes in coronary artery diameter (CADM) at the focal point of the stenosed segment were: dilation of 2.6% (-5.0, 11.4), eletriptan 6 mg IV (n=18); constriction of 6.8% (-12.6, 0.4), sumatriptan 6 mg SC (n=17), and constriction of 4.5% (-7.0, 7.9), placebo (n=10). One patient had angiographic evidence of a new thrombus at the stenosis site, necessitating termination of study infusion and successful stenting of the lesion. There was no correlation between effects on CADM and triptan concentration, or between hemodynamic or electrocardiograph changes and the presence (n=13) or absence (n=33) of chest pain. Conclusions: Triptans had very little effect on diseased epicardial coronary arteries in a small group of angina sufferers with established CAD. Results should be interpreted cautiously since there may be instances where even modest triptan-associated epicardial constriction is sufficient to precipitate myocardial ischemia in patients with severe obstructive CAD.

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