Which medications in the drug class Afterload-reducing agents are used in the treatment of Anomalous Left Coronary Artery From the Pulmonary Artery?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020
  • Author: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM; Chief Editor: Syamasundar Rao Patnana, MD  more...
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Afterload-reducing agents

These agents improve preoperative or postoperative cardiac output by reducing systemic vascular resistance and increasing systemic blood flow resulting from myocardial dysfunction and/or significant mitral valve insufficiency. Nitrates are peripheral and coronary vasodilators used in the management of angina pectoris, heart failure, and myocardial infarction. ACE inhibitors are beneficial in all stages of chronic heart failure. Pharmacologic effects result in a decrease in systemic vascular resistance, reducing blood pressure, preload, and afterload. Dyspnea and exercise tolerance are improved.

Nitroprusside (Nitropress)

Vasodilator of choice for severe, low-output, left-sided heart failure, providing that the arterial pressure is reasonably maintained. Rapidly acts and has a balanced effect, dilating both arterioles and veins. Because of an increase in stroke volume, considerable hemodynamic improvement without much hypotension may occur. In general, some decrease in blood pressure occurs, which may limit therapeutic effect. No PO equivalent is available.

Captopril (Capoten)

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have a major role as a peripheral vasodilator in hypertension and CHF. They act on angiotensin-renin-aldosterone system by inhibition of ACE. Prevents conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor, resulting in increased levels of plasma renin and a reduction in aldosterone secretion. This is most beneficial when CHF is accompanied by high plasma renin activity that leads to increased sympathetic activity, aldosterone release, and peripheral vasoconstriction. Use of ACE inhibitors usually is reserved for long-term postoperative management, at which point, the severity of myocardial dysfunction and mitral valve insufficiency has improved significantly to allow the use of PO medications.

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