Original Article: PDF OnlyCardiovascular Effects of Forskolin (HL 362) in Patients with Idiopathic Congestive Cardiomyopathy—A Comparative Study with Dobutamine and Sodium NitroprussideBaumann, Gert; Felix, Stefan; Sattelberger, Ulrich; Klein, Gernot Author Information 1st Medical Department of the Technical University of Munich, Division of Cardiology and Circulation, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Munich, West Germany Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 16(1):p 93-100, July 1990. Free Abstract Summary: Forskolin, a diterpene derivative of the Indian plant Coleus forskhohlii, proved to be a marked positive inotropic and vasodilatory compound in animal experiments with a mechanism of action distinct from catecholamines, cardiac glycosides, and phosphodiesterase-inhibiting compounds. The cardiovascular effects of forskolin seem to be mediated by a direct stimulatory action at the catalytic unit of sarcolemmal adenylate cyclase. The aim of the present study was to clarify the cardiovascular profile of this compound in 12 patients with stage III (NYHA) congestive cardiomyopathy. The effects of forskolin were investigated by invasive techniques using the thermodilution catheter method and compared to the β1-receptor agonist dobutamine and the vasodilator sodium nitroprusside in an intraindividual comparison. Forskolin dose-dependently reduced cardiac pre- and afterload values, and led to a reduction in systolic, diastolic, and mean pulmonary artery pressure as well as pulmonary wedge pressure by >50% concomitant with an increase in cardiac output. There was a slight increase in heart rate. Cardiac stroke volume and stroke volume index was increased by ˜70%. The cardiovascular effects of dobutamine and nitroprusside were less pronounced; however, it seemed that a similar hemodynamic profile could be achieved by the combination of both dobutamine and sodium nitroprusside. In view of the rapid development of tolerance toward β1-receptor stimulation, forskolin, with its receptor-independent mechanism of action, may be advantageous for the treatment of severe heart failure, especially in patients with catecholoamine-insentitive heart failure. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.