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Nicardipine versus nitroprusside infusion as antihypertensive therapy in hypertensive emergencies.

Author(s): Yang HJ, Kim JG, Lim YS, Ryoo E, Hyun SY, Lee G

Affiliation(s): Department of Emergency Medicine, Gil Medical Centre, Gachon Medical School, Inchon, Korea. yanghj@gachon.ac.kr

Publication date & source: 2004-03, J Int Med Res., 32(2):118-23.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

This prospective study compared the efficacy of nicardipine and nitroprusside for treating hypertensive emergencies by measuring haemodynamic indices and serum catecholamine levels. Patients admitted to the emergency department with a hypertensive crisis and acute pulmonary oedema received intravenous infusions of nitroprusside (starting dose 1 microgram/kg per min, n = 20) or nicardipine (starting dose 3 micrograms/kg per min, n = 20). Both groups experienced significant declines in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after treatment, but there were no significant time-dependent differences between the groups. Heart rate decreased in the nicardipine group and increased in the nitroprusside group, but neither change was significant. Respiration rate decreased and capillary oxygen saturation rate increased after treatment in both groups. Adrenaline and noradrenaline levels decreased significantly after treatment in both groups; noradrenaline levels were significantly decreased in the nicardipine-treated group compared with the nitroprusside-treated group. Injectable nicardipine is easy to use and as effective as nitroprusside for treating hypertensive crisis with acute pulmonary oedema.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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