The cardiovascular effects of cocaine

Ann Emerg Med. 1991 Feb;20(2):165-75. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(05)81217-x.


Cocaine use and abuse continue to overwhelm urban economic, social, and health care systems. Patients frequently present to the emergency department with life-threatening manifestations of cocaine use, including trauma, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, psychomotor agitation, and cardiovascular collapse. Adequate treatment of the cocaine-intoxicated patient requires a critical understanding of the risk-to-benefit ratios for pharmacologic, toxicologic, and surgical or obstetric interventions. The pharmacologic and physiologic bases for the vascular manifestations of cocaine toxicity and experimental evidence for treatment strategies are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Cocaine / adverse effects*
  • Cocaine / pharmacology
  • Cocaine / poisoning
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Poisoning / therapy


  • Cocaine