Acute and long-term effects of vasodilator therapy on resting and exercise hemodynamics and exercise tolerance.
The acute hemodynamic response to vasodilators in patients with chronic heart failure has been well characterized, but less is known about the long-term hemodynamic effects of vasodilator therapy. We measured hemodynamic variables at rest and during upright exercise in 11 patients during the initiation of therapy with oral hydralazine and sublingual isosorbide dinitrate and, in eight of these, after 3 months of continuous treatment. Marked initial increases in resting cardiac output and stroke volume and reductions in wedge pressure were sustained during chronic therapy. Similarly, the early improvement in exercise hemodynamic measurements persisted in most subjects. Exercise tolerance, quantified as the maximum duration of treadmill exercise, increased modestly (7.7 +/- 2.6 to 8.9 +/- 3.3 minutes, 0.05 less than p less than 0.10) after several days on vasodilators and further (10.2 +/- 3.7 minutes, p less than 0.01) during long-term treatment. The acute hemodynamic effects of vasodilator therapy at rest or during exercise did not correlate well with the changes in exercise tolerance. Our findings suggest that the combination of hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate improves cardiac performance at rest and during exercise in patients with chronic heart failure and that this improvement persists during chronic therapy. In most patients, this hemodynamic improvement is accompanied by greater exercise tolerance.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association