The hemodynamic effects of vasodilator treatment (afterload reduction) with nitroprusside at a constant heart rate were studied in 24 patients early after aorta-coronary bypass grafting. In 12 patients, dose-response relationships were determined. Graded incremental infusions of nitroprusside produced progressive decreases in mean arterial pressure (MAP), right and left atrial pressures, and stroke work index. Stroke volume index and cardiac index rose significantly until MAP was reduced below the range of 80 to 90 mm. Hg, and then they fell to base-line levels owing to insufficient preload. In an additional 12 patients, MAP was reduced with nitroprusside to the range of 80 to 90 mm. Hg, and left atrial pressure was then restored to base-line levels during continued vasodilator administration. This sequence resulted in further augmentation of stroke volume index to a level higher than that produced by nitroprusside alone. We conclude from this investigation that nitroprusside is a clinically useful agent for primary or adjunctive therapy of mild-to-moderate low cardiac output states immediate postoperatively and that simultaneous regulation of left ventricular preload and after load during its administration is necessary in order to achieve maximal hemodynamic benefit.
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View details for PubMedID 300133