Initial blood pressure response to enalapril in hospitalized patients (studies of left ventricular dysfunction [SOLVD])

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      Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) is a randomized trial of enalapril versus placebo in reducing mortality in patients with cardiac dysfunction (defined as left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35%). Before randomization, patients at risk for hypotension were hospitalized for a test dose of 2.5 mg of enalapril administered orally at baseline and again 12 hours later. As of February 1989, 89 of 7,539 (1.2%) patients had been studied during hospitalization. Baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 115 ± 18 and 73 ± 10 mm Hg, respectively. After enalapril, systolic blood pressure decreased slightly but significantly 8 to 20 hours after the initial dose (mean reduction 8 to 11 mm Hg). In this highly selected group of 89 patients, symptoms relating to decrease in blood pressure were noted in 13 (15%). It is emphasized that most patients with cardiac dysfunction readily tolerate enalapril. However, the agent should be administered with caution to patients with advanced congestive failure and diminished baseline blood pressure, owing to a significant incidence of symptomatic hypotension.
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