There appear to be three general indications for the use of nitroglycerin in medicine, namely, to relieve distressing or dangerous symptoms due to local arteriosclerosis or arterial spasm; to lower the general blood-pressure when its continuance at the existing height threatens accidents to the cardiovascular apparatus, and to clear the diagnosis.
The power of nitroglycerin is perhaps best shown when it is used to free the circulation in vitally important regions of the body where the supplying arteries are unduly contracted. The two most important vital regions are the heart itself and the brain; and arterial disease in these regions is usually attended with high blood-pressure. Sclerosis of the coronary arteries, when the lesion is pronounced, may be attended by some or all of the following symptoms: soreness, oppression or pain in the precordium, especially behind the sternum; pain in the neck, shoulders and arms, particularly the inside of the
CORNWALL EE. WHEN AND HOW TO USE NITROGLYCERIN. JAMA. 1913;61(2):118–120. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350020044019
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