Due to an apparently selective vasoconstrictive effect on the splanchnic circulation, somatostatin (SRIF) has been advocated for the treatment of variceal hemorrhage. The present study was designed to compare and contrast the systemic and splanchnic hemodynamic effects of SRIF and two of its long-acting analogs (SMS 201,995 and L 363,568) with those of Pitressin. Anesthetized pigs were subjected to laparotomy for placement of an electromagnetic flowmeter on the main trunk of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA). Systemic hemodynamic parameters of arterial blood pressure and cardiac output were monitored with thermodilution catheters. Portal venous blood was collected for measurement of plasma levels of SMS 201,995 and L 363,568 and for determination of gastrin levels during infusion of the latter analog. Experimental drugs were administered via an aortic cannula in a range (5-10 mg/kg bolus and 5-10 mg/kg/min continuous infusion) of dosages. At the higher dosages, SRIF, SMS 201,995, and L 363,568 decreased SMA blood flow (mean% ± SD) 5.6 ± 2.2, 1.6 ± 4.4, and 8.0 ± 3.8 after 10 min. None of the values achieved significance when compared to variation in baseline determinations. Pitressin (0.25 units, intravenously) produced a consistent and highly significant (P < 0.001) reduction in SMA flow after 5 min. Pharmacologic levels of SMS 201,995 and L 363,568 were reliably achieved in portal blood and the latter produced significant reduction (P < 0.05) in portal venous levels of gastrin. SRIF and its long-acting analogs produced no significant splanchnic nor systemic hemodynamic effects in this model.
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