Vasodilators: Rationale and Practical Use

  • C. Perret
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 6)


It was long considered that myocardial contractility was the main determinant of cardiac performance but in the last two decades it has become apparent that the pump function of the failing left ventricle is critically dependent upon loading conditions and, particularly, upon left ventricular outflow resistance [1]. Vasodilation is now commonplace in cardiac therapy. A number of vasodilator agents have been investigated and their specific advantages for the treatment of acute or chronic heart failure have been evaluated [2–7]. This has been greatly facilitated by the availability of reliable invasive and noninvasive techniques such as balloon-flotation catheter, echocardiography and radionuclide cardiac imaging, which are of particular interest for monitoring at the bedside the hemodynamic response in acute heart failure.


Chronic Heart Failure Systemic Vascular Resistance Filling Pressure Acute Heart Failure Acute Pulmonary Edema 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

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  • C. Perret

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