Adenosine-heparin combo studied for angina

Treating chronic stable angina with an intravenous adenosine-heparin combination is showing successful early results, according to a study at the University of California at San Fran cisco. Researchers there, led by Hal Barron, MD, pursued an open-label, placebo-controlled study based on exercise-induced ischemia in patients with chronic stable angina to see if repeated use of the drug combination would improve bouts of myocardial ischemia in those patients.

Researchers believe the combo stimulates coronary angiogenesis or collateral circulation to relieve patient discomfort. Based on stress testing and myocardial imaging, patients received a two-week, daily infusion of 10,000u of heparin, followed by a six-minute infusion of either 140 mcg/kg/min of adenosine, or placebo.

Initial results showed that when compared to baseline, patients receiving the combination had a greater reduction of ischemic myocardium (31% vs. 23%), than the relatively little change (26% vs. 29%) found in patients receiving just heparin.