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February 1984

Intravenous Nitroglycerin in Transfusion Therapy for Severe Anemia: Association With Congestive Heart Failure

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Cardiology, Cabrini Medical Center, New York (Drs Varriale, Kwa, and Vyas), and the New York Medical College (Drs Varriale and Kwa).

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(2):401-402. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350140235033

• The risk of aggravated heart failure due to expanded blood volume and augmented left-ventricular filling pressure poses a challenge when transfusion is indicated by severe anemia complicating congestive heart failure. Intravenous (IV) nitroglycerin therapy produces a favorable redistribution of circulating blood volume and may be used to surmount these hemodynamic constraints during transfusion. In four patients with severe anemia and cardiac failure, IV nitroglycerin permitted rapid and large-volume blood transfusion without compromising cardiac function. In two of the four patients, recalcitrant unstable angina abated after the correction of anemia.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:401-402)