Propofol attenuates the myogenic response of vascular smooth muscle

R. D. MacPherson, R. L. Rasiah, L. J. McLeod

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The myogenic response is the tendency of certain vessels, most notably small arteries and arterioles, to constrict in response to an increase in intravascular pressure. The effects of propofol on the myogenic response of the isolated pressurized rabbit ear artery were studied in segments preconstricted either with norepinephrine or 5-hydroxytryptamine and subjected to pressure increases from 60 to 100 mm Hg applied either rapidly (jumps over 500 ms) or slowly (ramps over 120 s). In the control experiments the preconstricted vessels initially dilated, then rapidly returned toward their initial diameter. In response to pressure ramps, vessels slowly dilated, but closely retained their resting diameter. Administration of propofol (1.6 x 10-4 to 1.6 x 10-3 M) resulted in dilation of the constricted vessels. With pressure jumps vessels had a reduced capacity to recover their initial diameters, and with pressure ramps vessels dilated to greater diameters. When the concentration of vasoconstrictor was increased to antagonize the propofol-induced dilation the myogenicity was not restored. This attenuation of myogenicity, distinct from the drug's vasodilator effect may represent a further mechanism by which anesthetic agents can affect cardiovascular function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-829
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


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