Cardiovascular effects of adenosine in man; possible clinical implications

Prog Neurobiol. 1986;27(4):319-49. doi: 10.1016/0301-0082(86)90005-5.


The results summarized above indicate that adenosine is a physiologically relevant modulator of the cardiovascular system in man. The levels of adenosine are low during resting conditions, but may increase during conditions of oxygen and/or substrate deficiency. Already the basal concentration seems to be sufficient to affect regional flow in vital organs such as the heart. Several drugs may act by increasing the levels of adenosine or by influencing its receptors. In addition, adenosine may be used in many clinical situations as a vasodilator, antiaggregatory compound as well as an antiarrythmic agent. Its effect is easy to control due to the extremely short plasma half-life. The dose range for the clinical effects are summarized in Table 6. Both the physiological and pharmacological aspect of adenosine are subject to intense study in several laboratories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Adenosine / pharmacology*
  • Adenosine / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Ischemia / metabolism
  • Purines / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic / drug effects
  • Theophylline / pharmacology


  • Purines
  • Receptors, Purinergic
  • Theophylline
  • Adenosine