Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Ketanserin in the treatment of traumatic vasospastic disease.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 13 September 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:650
  1. V H Larsen,
  2. J Fabricius,
  3. G Nielsen,
  4. K S Hansen


    The specific serotonin receptor blocker ketanserin was given orally to 12 patients with traumatic vasospastic disease in a double blind crossover study. The effect of treatment was assessed by measuring finger systolic pressure and rewarming time after cold provocation and by medical interview and diaries. Median (range) percentage change in finger systolic pressure after cooling was 50 (0-100)% after treatment with ketanserin compared with 0 (0-90)% after placebo. Median (range) rewarming time after cooling decreased from 320 (236-972)s with placebo to 160 (88-404)s after treatment with ketanserin. These changes were not significant. Ninety five percent confidence intervals for difference between the treatments, however, showed that finger systolic pressure may be 80% better and rewarming time 256 seconds faster after treatment with ketanserin than after placebo. The number of attacks did not differ significantly between the two treatments. Two patients had a feeling of warmth in their hands during treatment with ketanserin. The results suggest that orally administered ketanserin may improve digital circulation in patients with traumatic vasospastic disease, but larger numbers of patients are required to assess the true effect of treatment with ketanserin in this disease.