Comparative hemodynamic and clinical effects of long-term treatment with prazosin and captopril for severe chronic congestive heart failure secondary to coronary artery disease or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

Milton Packer, Norman Medina, Madeline Yushak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Short- and long-term hemodynamic and clinical responses to sequential therapy with prazosin (15 mg/day for 3 to 12 weeks) and captopril (75 to 300 mg/day for 2 to 15 weeks) were compared in 22 patients with severe chronic congestive heart failure. First doses of prazosin produced marked increases in cardiac index and stroke volume index (p < 0.01), but these effects were lost during long-term treatment. First doses of captopril produced only modest increases in both variables, but these persisted without attenuation during prolonged therapy. Both drugs produced immediate decreases in left ventricular filling pressure, mean arterial pressure, mean right atrial pressure and systemic vascular resistance; these changes became significantly attenuated (p < 0.01) with prazosin but not with captopril. At the end of treatment, stroke volume index was significantly higher and right and left ventricular filling pressures were significantly lower with captopril than with prazosin (p < 0.05 to 0.01). Only 8 of the 22 patients (36%) treated with prazosin benefited clinically, whereas 14 of 19 patients (74%) treated with captopril felt that they had improved (p < 0.05). These differences could not have been predicted by comparing responses to first doses of the 2 drugs. These findings indicate that the choice of 1 vasodilator drug over another in patients with congestive heart failure should be based on studies that compare their long-term rather than short-term hemodynamic and clinical effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1323-1327
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this