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Minerva Pneumologica 2018 December;57(4):99-103

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4954.18.01832-1

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A review of the effects of calcium channels blockers on airway smooth muscle activity and respiratory mechanics

Alessandro RUBINI , Daniele DEL MONTE, Alex RIZZATO, Gerardo BOSCO

Section of Physiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy



INTRODUCTION: The excitation-contraction coupling mechanisms in the vascular and airway walls smooth muscle cells are not different. Hence, a rationale working hypothesis is that calcium channel blocking drugs which are known to act on vascular smooth muscle, and are commonly used in medical practice to treat cardiovascular diseases, may be effective on airway to reduce airway resistance.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We analyzed library data base (Pubmed, Scopus) to search for papers dealing with the possible effects of calcium channels blocking drugs on mammals airway and respiratory mechanics. Several experimental and clinical papers were found and results summarized in the text.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Taken together, older papers and recent investigations strongly indicate that the tested calcium channel blocking drugs (nifedipine, nicardipine, verapamil, diltiazem) may act on respiratory system smooth muscle cells too, inducing airway resistance reduction and an improvement in lung compliance.
CONCLUSIONS: The results we analyzed in the text suggest that the calcium channels blocking drugs may be usefully utilized in respiratory system diseases. Most of all, these drugs might found a role in the treatment of patients affected by both cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases. Clinical studies and further experimental investigations are however needed to confirm these working hypotheses.


KEY WORDS: Airway resistance - Calcium channel blockers - Respiratory system

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