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Intravenous dopexamine in the treatment of acute congestive heart failure: Results of a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled withdrawal study

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Acute hemodynamic effects of intravenous infusion of dopexamine were evaluated by a placebo-controlled withdrawal study in patients with acute congestive heart failure. Twenty patients were enrolled at 10 centers in Japan. All patients had a pulmonary capillary or diastolic pressure of 15 mmHg or greater and a cardiac index of 2.5 l/min/m2 or less.Phase I: Intravenous dopexamine was introduced in a single-blind, uncontrolled fashion at the rate of 0.5 µg/kg/min and was titrated up to achieve a 30% or more increase in the cardiac index. Two patients withdrew from the study due to sinus tachycardia and ventricular ectopy or exacerbation of heart failure.Phase II: The remaining 18 responders who were free of limiting side effects were randomized in double-blind fashion to continue dopexamine or to switch to placebo for an additional 60 minutes. At the end of phase II, the hemodynamic improvement obtained in phase I of the study disappeared completely after substitution of placebo but was maintained in dopexamine-treated patients. Our findings suggest that dopexamine, when given in appropriate doses to selected patients, shows balanced vasodilator action suitable for the treatment of acute congestive heart failure.

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Correspondence to Hidetsugu Asanoi M.D..

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See Appendix 1 for complete list of participating centers and principal investigators

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Asanoi, H., Sasayama, S., Sakurai, T. et al. Intravenous dopexamine in the treatment of acute congestive heart failure: Results of a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled withdrawal study. Cardiovasc Drug Ther 9, 791–797 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00879873

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Key Words

  • dopexamine
  • double-blind withdrawal study
  • acute heart failure
  • balanced vasodilation