Digitalis increases brain natriuretic peptide in patients with severe congestive heart failure

T Tsutamoto, A Wada, K Maeda, T Hisanaga, D Fukai, Y Maeda, M Ohnishi, N Mabuchi, M Kinoshita
American Heart Journal 1997, 134 (5): 910-6
Ouabain can cause increased secretion of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) from atrial cardiocyte culture, but the effects of digitalis in a therapeutic range on the secretion of cardiac natriuretic peptide including ANP and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), mainly from the ventricle, in patients with congestive heart failure remain to be investigated. Therefore we studied the acute effects of intravenous infusion of a relatively low dose of digitalis or placebo on hemodynamics and neurohumoral factors including the plasma levels of ANP and BNP and cyclic guanosine monophosphate, a second messenger of cardiac natriuretic peptide, in 13 patients with severe congestive heart failure. No significant change in the hemodynamic parameters or neurohumoral factors was observed with placebo. After 1 hour of intravenous administration of deslanoside (0.01 mg/kg), there was a significant decrease of plasma renin activity and angiotensin II, aldosterone, and norepinephrine levels but no significant change of plasma levels of vasopressin and a significant decrease of the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure but no significant change in cardiac index. In addition, plasma levels of ANP (217 +/- 47 vs 281 +/- 70 pg/ml, p < 0.05), BNP (628 +/- 116 vs 689 +/- 132 pg/ml, p < 0.05), and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (9.7 +/- 1.1 vs 10.9 +/- 1.5 pmol/ml, p < 0.05) increased despite the decrease of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (19.7 +/- 2.3 vs 16.8 +/- 2.3 mm Hg, p < 0.05). These results indicate the acute intravenous low dose of digitalis resulted in a significant increase in plasma levels of ANP, BNP, and cyclic guanosine monophosphate concomitant with the significant decrease of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, suggesting the acute direct action of digitalis on the cardiac natriuretic peptides released from the heart in patients with severe congestive heart failure.

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