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Keywords:

  • octreotide;
  • portal hypertension;
  • radioactive microsphere method;
  • tetrandrine

Octreotide is an effective portal hypotensive drug in the control of variceal bleeding. Tetrandrine is a type of calcium channel blocker recently reported to reduce portal hypertension. The present study was undertaken to investigate the haemodynamic effects of octreotide and tetrandrine, alone and in combination, in portal hypertensive rats. Portal hypertension was induced by partial portal vein ligation. Portal hypertensive rats were allocated into one of the four groups: vehicle group (saline, 0.5 mL/day), octreotide group (100 μg/kg per 12 h), tetrandrine group (20 mg/kg per 12 h), and octreotide (100 μg/kg per 12 h) plus tetrandrine (20 mg/kg per 12 h) group. Tetrandrine or saline was administered by gavage, and octreotide by subcutaneous injection. The drug was given for 8 consecutive days, starting 1 day before ligation and continuing onwards. Haemodynamic parameters were measured thereafter, using the radioactive microsphere method. The portal venous pressure and portal tributary blood flow were significantly reduced, while portal territory and renal vascular resistances were significantly enhanced, by octreotide, tetrandrine, or octreotide plus tetrandrine in portal hypertensive rats, compared with the vehicle group. Our results showed that long-term administration of octreotide, tetrandrine, or octreotide plus tetrandrine led to portal hypotensive effects in portal hypertensive rats, but octreotide alone exerted better anti-hyperdynamic effects compared with tetrandrine alone. A combination of octreotide and tetrandrine offered no major beneficial anti-hyperdynamic effects compared with octreotide alone.