South African Medical Journal

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Effects of calcium antagonists on hypertension and diastolic function

LH Opie, PJ Commerford, C Adnams


Calcium antagonists are known to decrease blood pressure acutely and chronically in hypertensive patients with hypertensive heart disease, and also to improve their systolic function. However, disorders of diastolic function may occur early in hypertensive heart disease. The improvement of diastolic function by nifedipine and diltiazem is described, although it was difficult to exclude systolic unloading as a cause of the improvement. It is emphasised that diastolic dysfunction can exist in hypertensive heart disease, and that the calcium antagonists nifedipine and diltiazem can improve diastolic dysfunction.

S Afr Med J 1989; 76: 89-92

AJOL African Journals Online