Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Can we learn new tricks from an old drug in treating heart attacks?

11.11.2004


Bretylium’s unique effects may point to new concept of heart attacks



An "old" drug has unique benefits for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI; commonly known as heart attack), a finding that may contribute to a new understanding of how heart attacks develop, according to an article in the September/October American Journal of Therapeutics.

In the definitive report, Marvin Bacaner, M.D., University of Minnesota, describes the effects of the antiarrhythmic drug bretylium tosylate in preventing dangerous heart rhythm disorders and other complications after AMI.


Bretylium works by blocking release of the "fight or flight" hormone adrenaline, preventing activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Given intravenously, bretylium was once the mainstay of treatment for ventricular fibrillation and other heart rhythm disorders after AMI, although in recent years it has been largely replaced by other drugs.

However, Dr. Bacaner now believes that bretylium may offer unique advantages in heart attack treatment, and that it can be given effectively orally. In a study of 110 patients with AMI, potentially deadly arrhythmias developed in just 8 percent of patients treated with bretylium, compared to 65 percent of those treated with a different drug, liodcaine.

Bretylium’s adrenaline-blocking effect may lead to other benefits as well. In 31 percent of patients taking bretylium, the evolving heart attack did not develop into a "true" myocardial infarction, with permanent damage to the heart muscle. In contrast, 95 percent of patients treated with lidocaine developed a large heart attack.

A clue to the importance of blocking the sympathetic nervous system was that bretylium-treated patients remained warm and dry, with normal skin color. In contrast, patients receiving lidocaine were pale, sweaty, and cool, all signs of sympathetic nervous system activation.

Taken together, the findings suggest that the sympathetic nervous system plays an important role in the development of AMI. While clogged arteries are a major factor, Dr. Bacaner points out that it isn’t the only cause of the problem: some people have AMIs even though they have no coronary blockage, while others have blocked arteries but never experience a heart attack.

Sympathetic nervous system activation may be a previously underappreciated contributor to arrhythmias and heart muscle damage after heart attack. In the past, bretylium was available for intravenous use only. Dr. Bacaner has recently developed an oral form, which may offer a new approach to preventing arrhythmias as well as other dangerous complications.

"Dr. Bacaner is a true pioneer in the treatment of heart disease, and his development of an oral formulation of bretylium has the potential to extend the utility of discoveries made a half-century ago," says John C. Somberg, M.D., editor of the American Journal of Therapeutics. "Although further, rigorous ’proof of concept’ studies will be needed, Dr. Bacaner’s ideas about the importance of the sympathetic nervous system may offer a new paradigm for the understanding of heart disease."

Molly Portz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections
17.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method
14.02.2017 | University of British Columbia

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>