Pressor Agents, Pure Inotropes, Mixed Function Agents
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Vasoactive pharmacologic agents play an important role in the management of shock. These agents can be broadly categorized as vasodilators, vasopressors, and inotropic agents. Each of these agents can variably affect myocardial preload, afterload, and inotropy to enhance cardiac performance. The choice of these agents is largely dependent on the clinical circumstances faced and a working knowledge of the pharmacologic and hemodynamic effects unique to these agents. This chapter presents the most common vasoactive pharmacologic agents used in clinical practice for the treatment of cardiogenic shock. The hemodynamic as well as pharmacologic properties of these agents are reviewed in order to provide a basis on which a practical understanding of their effects can develop and guide medical decision-making.
KeywordsPreload Afterload Pressure-volume relation Elastance Inotrope Vasopressor Vasoconstriction Vasodilatation Tachyphylaxis Shock
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