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December 1977

Action of Nitroglycerin and Amyl Nitrite in Labile and Essential HypertensionHemodynamic Differences

Author Affiliations

From the Hypertension Section, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Oklahoma City.

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(12):1702-1705. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630240036013

Seventeen patients with labile hypertension received nitroglycerin and 18 received amyl nitrite. Twelve patients with established essential hypertension received nitroglycerin and 12 received amyl nitrite. Nitroglycerin reduced the systolic and mean arterial pressures and cardiac output in both groups, but had no effect on diastolic pressure and total peripheral resistance. Amyl nitrite decreased systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressures and peripheral vascular resistance and increased heart rate and cardiac output in labile hypertensives. In established hypertensive patients, amyl nitrite decreased systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressures and cardiac output, and had little effect on peripheral vascular resistance. Nitroglycerin reduced arterial pressure in labile and established hypertensives through venodilation and peripheral venous pooling. Amyl nitrite had effects similar to nitroglycerin in established hypertensives; in labile hypertensives it reduced arterial pressure through arterial dilation and a decrease in peripheral vascular resistance.

(Arch Intern Med 137:1702-1705, 1977)