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Combination Vasodilator Therapy for Severe Chronic Congestive Heart Failure

KANU CHATTERJEE, M.B., M.R.C.P.; DENIS DREW, M.D.; WILLIAM W. PARMLEY, M.D.; STEVEN C. KLAUSNER, M.D.; JON POLANSKY, M.D.; and BARRY ZACHERLE, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Kanu Chatterjee, M.B., M.R.C.P.; Director, Coronary Care Unit, Room 1186, Moffitt Hospital, University of California; San Francisco, CA 94143.


San Francisco, California


Ann Intern Med. 1976;85(4):467-470. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-85-4-467
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A patient with severe, chronic congestive heart failure was unresponsive not only to conventional therapy, but also to nonparenteral nitroglycerin and isosorbide dinitrate; he became nitroprusside dependent. Oral minoxidil therapy produced a significant decrease in systemic vascular resistance and an increase in cardiac output, with no tachycardia, hypotension, or decrease in systemic and pulmonary venous pressures. The addition of sublingual isosorbide dinitrate decreased venous pressures and produced a further increase in cardiac output. The combination of oral minoxidil and sublingual isosorbide dinitrate maintained clinical and hemodynamic improvements, and the patient could be weaned off nitroprusside. Deterioration in hemodynamics occurred with the withdrawal of minoxidil. Therapy with oral hydralazine produced hemodynamic effects comparable to those of oral minoxidil. These observations suggest that chronic reduction of impedance to left ventricular ejection with minoxidil or hydralazine is possible in patients with severe intractable heart failure and deserves further clinical trial.

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