The Acute Hemodynamic Effects of Milrinone in Dogs With Severe Idiopathic Myocardial Failure

Mark D Kittleson, Lynne E. Johnson, Paul D. Pion

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11 Scopus citations


To examine the effects of acute oral milrinone administration (0.75 mg/kg) on dogs with severe idiopathic myocardial failure and the effect of prolonged milrinone administration on survival time, we measured hemodynamics before and 2 hours after drug administration and recorded survival time and cause of death in 13 dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy. Hemodynamics were measured using a Swan‐Ganz catheter and femoral artery puncture along with recording an M‐mode echocardiogram. Cardiac index increased from 1.92 ± 0.54 to 3.06 ± 0.81 L/min/m2, stroke volume index increased from 11.3 ± 4.3 to 16.7 ± 6.3 ml/beat/m2, and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure decreased from 23 ± 8 to 12 ± 8 mmHg. A clinically significant increase in heart rate was observed in seven dogs, resulting in a statistically significant increase in heart rate for the group from 174 ± 34 to 194 ± 44 beats/minute. Mean arterial blood pressure did not change significantly for the group but did decrease more than 20 mmHg in three dogs, suggesting a predominant primary vasodilating effect of milrinone in these dogs. An increase in contractility appeared to be the predominant reason for the improved hemodynamics in seven dogs. Eight dogs died of causes other than worsening heart failure, including four of eight Doberman pinschers that died suddenly, presumably from an acute tachyarrhythmia. Two dogs that had the greatest increase in an index of contractility are alive more than 2 years after the initiation of milrinone administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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