Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) exert profound hemodynamic effects via blockage of calcium flux through voltage-gated calcium channels. CCBs are widely used in acute care to treat concerning, debilitating, or life-threatening hemodynamic changes in many patients. The overall literature suggests that, for systemic hemodynamics, although CCBs decrease blood pressure, they normally increase cardiac output; for regional hemodynamics, although they impair pressure autoregulation, they normally increase organ blood flow and tissue oxygenation. In acute care, CCBs exert therapeutic efficacy or improve outcomes in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, acute myocardial infarction and unstable angina, hypertensive crisis, perioperative hypertension, and atrial tachyarrhythmia. However, despite the clear links, there are missing links between the known hemodynamic effects and the reported outcome evidence, suggesting that further studies are needed for clarification. In this narrative review, we aim to discuss the hemodynamic effects and outcome evidence for CCBs, the links and missing links between these two domains, and the directions that merit future investigations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)