Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
The most important recent advance in the medical management of patients with acute and chronic congestive heart failure has been the application of systemic vasodilator drugs to reduce ventricular afterload, thereby improving low cardiac output and decreasing increased venous pressure. Although such drugs have been employed for several years to treat essential hypertension, hypertensive heart failure, acute hypertensive crises, and angina pectoris, only in the past five years has their use become widely popular in the therapy of normotensive heart failure. While it can be reasoned that the vasodilator approach is a logical therapeutic extension of fundamental determinants regulating cardiac function known for many years, it is nevertheless intriguing that consideration has been delayed until the present time of such a useful concept as afterload reduction therapy in heart failure.
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