Acute effects of conjugated estrogens on coronary blood flow response to acetylcholine in men

Roger S. Blumenthal, Alan W. Heldman, Jeffrey A. Brinker, Jon R. Resar, Vicki J. Coombs, Sean T. Gloth, Gary Gerstenblith, Steven E. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Estrogen therapy is associated with a 50% reduction in the clinical manifestations of coronary artery disease in postmenopausal women. Attenuation of coronary vasomotor dysfunction may contribute to estrogen's cardioprotective effects. We hypothesized that conjugated estrogens, which contain several vasoactive estrogenic compounds, may favorably influence the vasomotor response to acetylcholine in men. Twenty men, 56 ± 5 years of age, referred for clinically indicated coronary angiography, participated in this study. Acetylcholine-induced changes in coronary flow were measured by quantitative coronary angiography and intracoronary Doppler ultrasonography before and 15 minutes after intravenous administration of conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg) in 12 men and placebo in 8 men. Initial acetylcholine infusion resulted in no significant increase in coronary blood flow. However, 15 minutes after estrogen administration repeat acetylcholine infusion caused a mean 32% increase in coronary blood flow from 41 ± 5 to 54 ± 8 ml/min (p = 0.02). Acetylcholine-induced change in flow after estrogen was significantly different from that before estrogen (p = 0.03). Placebo administration did not affect acetylcholine-induced changes in coronary flow. Thus, intravenous conjugated estrogens favorably modulate acetylcholine- induced changes in coronary hemodynamics in men. This suggests that novel nonfeminizing estrogenic compounds may have anti-ischemic effects in men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1024
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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