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Anti-anginal agents in critical illness 

Anti-anginal agents in critical illness
Anti-anginal agents in critical illness

Ajay Suri

and Jean R. McEwan

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date: 06 July 2022

Angina is chest pain resulting from the lack of blood supply to heart muscle most commonly due to obstructive atherosclerotic. Intensive care unit patients are subject to various stresses that will increase the demand on the heart and are in a pro-thrombotic state. Patients in an intensive treatment unit may be sedated and so cardiac ischaemia may be detected by electrocardiogram, haemodynamic monitoring, and echocardiographic imaging of function. These signs may indicate critical coronary perfusion heralding a myocardial infarction and are alleviated by anti-anginal drugs. Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers are the usual first-line treatments for angina, but may not be ideal in the critically-ill patient. Nitrates reduce blood pressure without typically affecting heart rate. Nicorandil is a similar mechanism of action and tends to be given orally, while ivabridine, an If channel blocker, is a newer anti-anginal, which acts by reducing heart rate, while not affecting blood pressure. Ranolazine is the one of the newest anti-anginal agents and is believed to alter the transcellular late sodium current thereby decreasing sodium entry into ischaemic myocardial cells.

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