This chapter traces the history of nitroglycerin from the initial nitration of glycerol to its widespread clinical use. The pharmacologic differences between nitroglycerin and nitric oxide are described, as well as their similar mechanisms of action. The vasoactivity of nitroglycerin requires a biochemical transformation, the nature of which remains incompletely understood. This poorly defined mechanism probably also relates to the phenomenon of nitroglycerin tolerance. By increasing the distensibility of muscular arteries, nitroglycerin slows pulse wave velocity, reduces wave reflections and alters the shape of the aortic pulse. This alteration reduces the systolic blood pressure and left ventricular after load and helps to explain the usefulness of nitroglycerin in angina pectoris, congestive heart failure and isolated systolic hypertension.

Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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