A scant 15 years ago, substantive clinical application of the nitrates was limited to the use of glyceryl trinitrate in patients with chronic stable angina pectoris. The understanding of the action of this drug class had changed but little since the report of Sir Lauder Brunton, On the use of nitrates of amyl in angina pectoris, published in the Lancet in 1868. Yet, today, a wealth of information exists concerning the complex physiologic actions of these agents and others on systemic and coronary vascular smooth muscle. As we conclude this third symposium on the action of nitrates, it is worth-while to summarize current developments in the application and use of nitrates and to indicate some unanswered questions and future directions.
KeywordsChronic Heart Failure Glyceryl Trinitrate Sodium Nitroprusside Acute Heart Failure Aortic Blood Pressure
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