Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Pitambar Somani

Second Advisor

Harold Hardman

Third Advisor

James J. Smith

Fourth Advisor

Albert C. Yard

Fifth Advisor

John Kampine


Although a large variety of diverse chemical agents, such as whiskey, wine, sedatives, narcotics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors have been used in the treatment of angina pectoris, none of them has proved to be as effective as nitroglycerin and amyl nitrite, the drugs introduced into clinical medicine about a century ago (Brunton, 1867; Murell, 1879). Some decrease in frequency of anginal attacks may be obtained by almost any agent, including placebo tablets, yet only nitroglycerin and amyl nitrate are capable of producing a definite improvement in the electrocardiographic changes resulting from myocardial hypoxia. Over the past one hundred years, there has been a continuous search for new and longer acting anti-anginal agents and almost each year a new drug is released for clinical trials based upon laboratory evidence of its effectiveness as a coronary vasodilator. However, after a few years of initial clinical enthusiasm they all eventually become mere pharmacological curiosities, unable to displace nitroglycerin from its established position as a singularly effective anti-anginal drug.



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