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    To review the key clinical and research questions regarding blood pressure (BP) reduction with vasodilators in the early management of hypertensive acute heart failure (H-AHF). Despite numerous AHF vasodilator clinical trials in the past two decades, virtually none has studied a population where vasoconstriction is the predominant physiology, and with the agents and doses most commonly used in contemporary practice. AHF patients are remarkably heterogenous by vascular tone, and this heterogeneity is not always discernible through BP or clinical exam. Emerging data suggest that diastolic BP may be a stronger correlate of vascular tone in AHF than systolic BP, despite the latter historically serving as a key inclusion criterion for vasodilator clinical trials. Existing data are limited. A clinical trial that evaluates vasodilators in a manner of use consistent with contemporary practice, specifically within the subpopulation of patients with true H-AHF, is greatly needed. Until then, observational data supports long-standing vasodilators such as nitroglycerin, administered by IV bolus, and with goal reduction of SBP ≤25% as a safe first-line approach for patients with severe H-AHF presentations.


    Nicholas Harrison, Peter Pang, Sean Collins, Phillip Levy. Blood Pressure Reduction in Hypertensive Acute Heart Failure. Current hypertension reports. 2021 Feb 20;23(2):11

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    PMID: 33611627

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