The effect of intravenously administered almitrine, a peripheral chemoreceptor agonist, on patients with chronic air-flow obstruction.
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Almitrine, a peripheral chemoreceptor agonist, was given intravenously in a dose of 0.5 mg/kg/h for 2 h in a randomized double-blind manner with placebo, to 11 patients with severe chronic air-flow obstruction and hypoxemia (SaO2 less than 90%). There was no significant placebo effect. Maximal respiratory effect occurred at the end of the almitrine infusion with an increase in ventilation from 8.2 + 0.9 to 11.6 + 1.5 L/min (mean +/- SEM), and improvements in SaO2 from 83 +/- 3 to 90 +/- 2%, in PaO2 from 48 +/- 2 to 55 +/- 3 mmHg, and in PaCO2 from 54 + 3 to 47 +/- 4 mmHg. Venous admixture was reduced from 38 +/- 4% to 22 +/- 3%. In 4 patients, blood gas values substantially improved, but there was no change in total ventilation for ventilatory pattern. This study of acute effects showed that almitrine improved arterial PO2 and PCO2 in patients with chronic air-flow obstruction both by increasing ventilation and by improving ventilation-perfusion relationships.
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