Beneficial effects of hydralazine in severe mitral regurgitation.
The severity of mitral regurgitation is, in part, determined by aortic impedance to left ventricular outflow. Sodium nitroprusside acutely decreases regurgitant flow, but the importance of its dual vasodilating effects, the lowering of peripheral vascular resistance and increasing of venous capacitance, is unclear. We studied the hemodynamic response to intravenous hydralazine, which selectively acts on the arteriolar resistance bed, in 10 patients with severe mitral regurgitation. Hydralazine produced a 50% increase in forward stroke volume (22 +/- 2 to 33 +/- 3 ml/m2, P less than 0.001) and a 33% reduction in regurgitant stroke volume (40 +/- 6 to 27 +/- 6 ml/m2, P less than 0.001), with a resultant fall in pulmonary capillary wedge v wave and mean pressures. Unlike nitroprusside, it did not alter left ventricular end-diastolic volume or pressure. Oral hydralazine maintained this hemodynamic improvement for at least 48 hours and, in three patients, provided more sustained clinical improvement. We conclude that hydralazine, by virtue of its selective lowering of aortic impedance, reduces the amount of mitral regurgitation and thus may be a useful mode of interim or chronic therapy in selected patients.
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