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J Assoc Physicians India. 1993 May;41(5):269-71.

Effect of vasodilator therapy on mortality in chronic congestive heart failure.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, NRS Medical College Hospital, Calcutta.


We compared the effects of Hydralazine and Isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN) with those of an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor, captopril on mortality in patients with chronic congestive heart failure (NYHA class III and IV). Patients receiving conventional treatment with digoxin and diuretics were randomly assigned to receive either placebo (n = 51), hydralazine-ISDN. (n = 50) or captopril (n = 52) in a double blind trial. At the end of 6 months there were 14 deaths in the placebo group (27.4%) as compared with 11 deaths in the hydralazine-ISDN group (22%)--a mortality reduction of 20% (P > 0.05) and 10 deaths in the captopril group (19.2%)--a mortality reduction of 30% (p > 0.05). At the end of one year, mortality was 50%, 42% and 30% in the placebo, hydralazine-ISDN and captopril groups respectively with a mortality reduction of 16% in the hydralazine-ISDN group (p > 0.05) and 40% in the captopril group (p < 0.05) compared to the placebo group. The mortality reduction was mainly due to reduction in deaths attributed to progressive heart failure. The data suggests that the addition of captopril to conventional treatment significantly reduces mortality in patients with severe congestive heart failure. Hydralazine-isorobide dinitrate also reduced mortality but statistically this was not significant.

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