Vasodilator therapy: Implications in acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure

Jay N. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The physiologic effects of systemic vasoconstriction on left ventricular performance and the salutary hemodynamic effect of acute administration of vasodilator drugs to patients with heart failure provide a rational basis for vasodilator therapy in acute myocardial infarction and chronic congestive heart failure. Use of vasodilators during the acute phase of myocardial infarction may reduce mortality when left ventricular filling pressure remains markedly elevated for at least 8 hours after the onset of clinical syndrome. Use of chronic vasodilator therapy in patients with congestive heart failure appears to have been effective in some patients in prolonging exercise tolerance; however, the likelihood of a beneficial effect and the impact of this therapy on the natural history of the disease remain unclear. A Veterans Administration Cooperative Study to address these questions is currently in progress. The new effort directed to studying the effects of vasodilator drugs in these syndromes has appropriately focused attention on their pathophysiology and natural history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-778
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number4 PART 2
StatePublished - Apr 1982

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
by a grant from the National Heart, Lung and by research funds from the Veterans


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