The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of heparin on the haemodynamic changes which were induced by platelet-activating factor in the pulmonary and systemic circulation in pigs. Mean arterial pressure and mean pulmonary arterial pressure were measured continuously in five anaesthetised juvenile pigs. Bolus doses of platelet-activating factor (0.2- 2 μg) were given intravenously to establish a dose response curve. Heparin (300 units/kg) was given intravenously. Thirty minutes later, the same doses of platelet-activating factor were repeated to establish a second dose response curve. Platelet-activating factor caused a dose dependent pulmonary artery hypertension, associated with an initial systemic hypotension followed by systemic hypertension. Heparin effectively reduced the low dose (0.2 μg) platelet-activating factor-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension (p<0.01) but not the higher doses. It had no effect on the platelet-activating factor- induced systemic hypotension or hypertension. The pulmonary and systemic circulation responded differently to platelet-activating factor after giving heparin. While heparin ameliorated the platelet-activating factor-induced pulmonary hypertension, it did not affect the changes in the systemic circulation.
- Platelet-activating factor
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