Effects of supplemental oxygen administration on coronary blood flow in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization

Patrick H. McNulty, Nicholas King, Sofia Scott, Gretchen Hartman, Jennifer McCann, Mark Kozak, Charles E. Chambers, Laurence M. Demers, Lawrence I. Sinoway

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141 Scopus citations


Patients with heart disease are frequently treated with supplemental oxygen. Although oxygen can exhibit vasoactive properties in many vascular beds, its effects on the coronary circulation have not been fully characterized. To examine whether supplemental oxygen administration affects coronary blood flow (CBF) in a clinical setting, we measured in 18 patients with stable coronary heart disease the effects of breathing 100% oxygen by face mask for 15 min on CBF (via coronary Doppler flow wire), conduit coronary diameter, CBF response to intracoronary infusion of the endothelium-dependent dilator ACh and to the endothelium-independent dilator adenosine, as well as arterial and coronary venous concentrations of the nitric oxide (NO) metabolites nitrotyrosine, NO2-, and NO3-. Relative to breathing room air, breathing of 100% oxygen increased coronary resistance by ∼40%, decreased CBF by ∼30%, increased the appearance of nitrotyrosine in coronary venous plasma, and significantly blunted the CBF response to ACh. Oxygen breathing elicited these changes without affecting the diameter of large-conduit coronary arteries, coronary venous concentrations of NO 2- and NO3-, or the coronary vasodilator response to adenosine. Administering supplemental oxygen to patients undergoing cardiac catheterization substantially increases coronary vascular resistance by a mechanism that may involve oxidative quenching of NO within the coronary microcirculation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1057-H1062
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3 57-3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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