[The treatment of congestive heart failure by using vasodilators. I. Physiological basis. Different vasodilators (author's transl)]

Nouv Presse Med. 1978 Mar 25;7(12):1013-20.
[Article in French]


The use of vasodilators represents a new approach in the treatment of heart failure. These drugs have the property of causing vasodilatation of either arterial or venous predominance or balanced between these two vascular beds. Arterio-dilators (phentolamine, hydralazine) increase stroke volume and cardiac output by decreasing ventricular afterload. Veno-dilators (nitroglycerine) have little effect on cardiac output but decrease ventricular filling pressure, thereby relieving pulmonary venous hypertension. Mixed vasodilators (Sodium nitroprussideate, trimetaphan) combine these two groups of properties in various degrees. The majority of these drugs can only be administered intravenously, with careful haemodynamic surveillance.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Output / drug effects
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Ventricles / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Myocardial Contraction / drug effects
  • Nitroglycerin / therapeutic use
  • Nitroprusside / therapeutic use
  • Phentolamine / therapeutic use
  • Trimethaphan / therapeutic use
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitroprusside
  • Trimethaphan
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Phentolamine