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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparison of intravenous nitroglycerin and sodium nitroprusside for treatment of acute hypertension developing after coronary artery bypass surgery.

The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that i.v. nitroglycerin is as effective as sodium nitroprusside for managing acute hypertension early after coronary artery bypass surgery. Seventeen patients received both nitroglycerin and nitroprusside in a randomized crossover protocol. Infusion rates were increased stepwise to lower mean arterial pressures comparably with each drug. In 14 of 17 patients, similar infusion rates of the two vasodilators resulted in equal lowering of both blood pressure and systemic vascular resistance. In the remaining three patients, very high infusion rates of nitroglycerin were required and achieved only 20-50% of nitroprusside's response in two of three. Hemodynamic responses to the two vasodilators were similar, except that nitroglycerin increased cardiac output more than nitroprusside did. In contrast, pulmonary gas exchange responses differed in that nitroglycerin improved intrapulmonary shunting, while nitroprusside worsened it. Similarly, nitroglycerin resulted in a significantly smaller increase in the alveolar arterial oxygen gradient than did nitroprusside. These results suggest that in the majority of patients, i.v. nitroglycerin was as effective as nitroprusside in controlling acute hypertension after coronary artery bypass surgery. In addition, nitroglycerin appeared to have more favorable effects on pulmonary gas exchange. Because nitroglycerin has more beneficial effects on intercoronary collateral blood flow in the setting of regional ischemia, it may be preferable to nitroprusside in patients with ischemic heart disease.[1]


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