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October 28, 1983

The Effect of Terbutaline on Cardiac Function in Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine (Drs Sunderrajan, Byron, McKenzie, and Hurst), and Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology (Drs Allegro, Thakur, and Holmes), University of Missouri, and the Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital, Columbia.

JAMA. 1983;250(16):2151-2156. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340160037028

The effect of 0.25 mg of terbutaline sulfate, a β2-adrenergic agent, on the right and left ventricular ejection fractions (RVEF and LVEF, respectively) was studied in 30 patients with severe stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with a mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s of 0.79±0.06 L. All bronchodilator therapy was withdrawn 48 hours before the study. The ECG-synchronized gated equilibrium radionuclide ventriculography showed decreased RVEF in 27 patients and LVEF in 16 patients. Both the RVEF and LVEF significantly increased after the terbutaline injection; this increase was noted both in patients with normal and decreased ejection fractions. We conclude that the increase in ejection fractions after terbutaline injection may contribute to the good clinical response to this drug seen in patients with severe stable COPD even though the bronchodilator effect may be minimal.

(JAMA 1983;250:2151-2156)