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March 29, 1965

Ethyl Alcohol and the Cardiovascular System: Effects on Coronary Blood Flow

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, and University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Jackson, Miss.

JAMA. 1965;191(13):1055-1058. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080130015004

Coronary flow and hemodynamic alterations were studied in dogs, following the intravenous administration of 0.5, 1.5, and 5 gm of ethyl alcohol/kg of body weight. Alcohol in low (0.5 gm/kg) or moderate (1.5 gm/kg) dosages causes a marked increase in work load of the heart proportionate to the amount administered. After toxic dosages (5gm/kg) all animals, although protected from respiratory failure, showed rapid and progressive deterioration with rising atrial pressure, hypotension, and death due to cardiac failure. At all dosage levels, coronary flow decreases and coronary resistance rises. The total peripheral resistance remains unchanged with low dosages but falls with larger dosages of alcohol. The same responses were noted with bonded bourbon as with laboratory alcohol.