The effect of intracoronary sodium nitrite on the burden of ventricular arrhythmias following primary percutaneous coronary intervention for acute myocardial infarction

Int J Cardiol. 2018 Sep 1;266:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.01.029.


Objective: Pre-clinical evidence suggests delivery of nitric oxide (NO) through administration of inorganic nitrite suppresses arrhythmias resulting from acute ischaemia and reperfusion (I/R). To date no assessment of whether inorganic nitrite might limit reperfusion arrhythmia has occurred in man, therefore we explored the effects on I/R-induced ventricular arrhythmias in the NITRITE-AMI cohort.

Methods: In the NITRITE-AMI cohort, Holter analysis was performed prior to and for 24 h after primary PCI in 80 patients who received either intra-coronary sodium nitrite (N = 40) or placebo (N = 40) during primary PCI for AMI.

Results: Ventricular rhythm disturbance was experienced by 100% patients; however, there was no difference in the number between the groups, p = .2196. Non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) occurred in 67.5% (27/40) of nitrite-treated patients compared to 89% (35/39) of those treated with placebo (p = .027). There was a significant reduction in both the number of runs (63%, p ≤.0001) and total beats of NSVT (64%, p = .0019) in the nitrite-treated patients compared to placebo. Post-hoc analyses demonstrate a direct correlation of occurrence of NSVT with infarct size, with the correlation stronger in the placebo versus the nitrite group initiating an independent nitrite effect (Nitrite: r = 0.110, p = .499, placebo: r = 0.527, p = .001, p for comparison: 0.004).

Conclusion: Overall no difference in ventricular rhythm disturbance was seen with intra-coronary nitrite treatment during primary PCI in STEMI patients, however nitrite treatment was associated with an important reduction in the incidence and severity of NSVT. In view of the sustained reduction of MACE seen, this effect warrants further study in a large-scale trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / adverse effects*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / trends
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Registries
  • Sodium Nitrite / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology


  • Sodium Nitrite