Image for Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts, Richard E Klabunde PhD

Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts

Richard E. Klabunde, PhD

Clinical Disorders:

Therapeutic Classes:

Mechanism Classes:

Also Visit

Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts 3e textbook cover

Click here for information on Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, 3rd edition, a textbook published by Wolters Kluwer (2021)


Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts textbook cover

Click here for information on Normal and Abnormal Blood Pressure, a textbook published by Richard E. Klabunde (2013)


Tutorial - Pharmacologic Treatment of Heart Failure

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Pathophysiology of Heart Failure

  1. What is heart failure?  click here
  2. What are several conditions that cause heart failure?  click here
  3. What is the difference between systolic and diastolic heart failure?  click here
  4. How does systolic dysfunction alter ventricular stroke volume, end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes, and ejection fraction?  click here
  5. What cellular alterations can cause systolic and diastolic dysfunction?  click here
  6. How does diastolic dysfunction affect ventricular stroke volume, ventricular end-diastolic volume and pressure, and ejection fraction?  click here
  7. What neurohumoral changes occur in heart failure and how do they help to compensate for the failing heart?  click here
  8. How does the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system function as a compensatory mechanism in heart failure?   click here
  9. How do natriuretic peptides released by the heart serve as counter regulatory mechanisms to the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system?  click here
  10. By what mechanism does heart failure cause either pulmonary or systemic edema?  click here

Drugs for Heart Failure

  1. What is the rationale for using the following drugs in treating heart failure?  click here
    • diuretics
    • arterial and venous vasodilators
    • positive inotropic (cardiotonic) drugs
  2. How does treatment for systolic dysfunction differ from the treatment of diastolic dysfunction?  click here
  3. Why does increasing cardiac output in heart failure patients reduce pulmonary and systemic edema?  click here
  4. How do each of the following mechanistic classes of drugs improve cardiovascular function in heart failure? What specific drugs (generic names) are FDA-approved in each of these classes?

Revised 10/25/2022

DISCLAIMER: These materials are for educational purposes only, and are not a source of medical decision-making advice.