Research Article

Response of pulmonary circulation to oral pirbuterol in chronic airflow obstruction.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 22 October 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1178
  1. A Peacock,
  2. C Busst,
  3. K Dawkins,
  4. D M Denison


    The effects of the oral beta agonist pirbuterol on pulmonary haemodynamics and gas exchange were studied in nine patients with severe irreversible airflow obstruction and moderate arterial hypoxaemia. After administration of 15 mg pirbuterol pulmonary vascular resistance fell by 19% but cardiac output rose by 24%, so that pulmonary arterial pressure showed no significant change. Systemic arterial oxygen pressure fell by 7%, limiting the rise in oxygen delivery to 21%. All changes were significant at the 2% level. These results show that pirbuterol dilates the pulmonary bed at the cost of a slight worsening of gas exchange, which is compensated by an independent rise in blood flow.