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THE ACTION OF THE NITRITES ON THE CORONARY CIRCULATION

FRED M. SMITH, M.D.
Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1921;28(6):836-840. doi:10.1001/archinte.1921.00100180154010.
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The nitrites have been employed in the treatment of angina pectoris since the time of Lauder Brunton, and it is well known that in many instances the pain subsides soon after the administration of a pearl of amyl nitrite or a pellet of nitroglycerin. The beneficial action of the nitrites has been considered by some to be due to the fall of blood pressure, and by others it has been held that these drugs dilate the coronary arteries and thus improve the coronary circulation thereby affording relief from the cardiac distress. Experimental observations designed to determine the soundness of the latter view have led to varying conclusions. Meyer1 and Schloss2 observed an increase in the outflow of the coronary vein in the intact heart following the administration of nitrites. Bond,3 on the other hand, failed to get positive results. Voegtlin and Macht4 demonstrated a relaxation of coronary arterial rings from

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