Left ventricular hemodynamics, dimensions and coronary sinus blood flows were measured simultaneously after infusions of dobutamine and dopamine. Ten patients were studied 6, 10 to 15, and 24 hr after cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. The dose of each drug was adjusted to increase cardiac output by 25%. Heart rate was held constant with atrial pacing. Dobutamine and dopamine increased peak left ventricular dP/dt from baseline values by 72% vs 58% during the early study, 77% vs 78% in the intermediate study, and 95% vs 79% in the late study (all NS, difference between drugs). Similarly, there were no significant differences in hemodynamic response or in cardiac dimensions after the two drugs in any period. Both drugs increased myocardial oxygen uptake during the intermediate and late studies (32% vs 33% and 34% vs 25%). With dobutamine this increase was matched by a similar increase in coronary blood flow; however, failure of the expected increase in coronary blood flow with dopamine suggested coronary constriction. Although dobutamine and dopamine have similar hemodynamic effects, dobutamine has the advantage of not limiting the increase in coronary blood flow associated with increased oxygen demand.
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