Evidence for or against the efficacy of calcium channel blockers for management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1991 Sep;21(5):1023-34. doi: 10.1016/s0195-5616(91)50110-8.


The positive lusitropic and direct coronary vasodilating properties of the calcium channel blocking agents are beneficial therapeutic effects not provided by the beta-adrenergic blocking agents for the management of feline HCM. Data from cats studied at the University of Tennessee suggest that diltiazem more consistently alleviates clinical signs and more effectively prolongs survival in cats with HCM than either propranolol or verapamil. Orally administered diltiazem appears to have sustained beneficial effects on left ventricular filling and cardiac performance based on its ability to reduce resting heart rate, decrease blood lactate concentration, increase venous oxygen tension, improve echocardiographic parameters, and resolve radiographic abnormalities. Long-term diltiazem administration may also reverse myocardial hypertrophy in some patients. There appear to be few if any side effects of this drug. Diltiazem, therefore, provides a safe and effective approach for the management of feline HCM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / drug therapy
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / veterinary*
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cats
  • Diltiazem / therapeutic use
  • Humans


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Diltiazem