The results of the medical treatment of primary pulmonary hypertension are usually very poor. A case of severe primary pulmonary hypertension in chronic heart failure was treated with the calcium antagonist nifedipine, a powerful vasodilator which acts directly on vascular smooth muscle. Nifedipine, administered in a dose of 20 mg sublingually, caused a pronounced fall in pulmonary and systemic vascular resistances (54 and 49%, respectively) and a rise in cardiac output (90.3%). Improvement was maintained over a three-month period. These data suggest that nifedipine can be used in the treatment of this condition.
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