This review article discusses some of the potentially beneficial effects of calcium antagonists on the coronary microcirculation. These include their vasodilating action on coronary resistance vessels as well as their effects on extravascular resistance (i.e. intramyocardial pressure). Examples are presented of how the non-invasive measurement of myocardial blood flow and flow reserve by means of positron emission tomography (PET) can contribute to the understanding of the effects of drug treatment on the coronary microcirculation. The action of calcium antagonists on the coronary microcirculation can contribute to explain the efficacy of these drugs against ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion damage.
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