Esophageal blood flow in the rabbit: Response to calcium channel blockers

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Journal Article

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Calcium channel blockers have recently been added to the therapeutic regimen for patients who have chest pain of esophageal origin. Although relief of symptoms has been reported, this has not always been associated with changes in esophageal contraction pressures or luminal pH. Myoischemia has been proposed as one possible mechanism for esophageal chest pain. We have investigated the effect of the calcium channel blockers verapamil, nifedipine, and diltiazem on esophageal blood flow in the rabbit model. Esophageal blood flow was measured three times in each rabbit with use of the radiolabeled microsphere technique after a 30-minute continuous infusion of (1) saline solution (baseline), (2) a low dose, and (3) a high dose of each agent. Esophageal mucosal blood flow significantly decreased with nifedipine but was unchanged with verapamil and diltiazem. Esophageal muscle blood flow significantly increased-approximately 100% after administration of each of the calcium channel blockers. Thus esophageal muscle blood flow is enhanced after administration of calcium channel blockers, and this may be one therapeutic mechanism of the calcium channel blockers m the relief of esophageal chest pain in some esophageal diseases. © 1989.

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