REGULATION OF BLOOD PRESSURE
Arterial blood pressure is a function of cardiac output and
peripheral vascular resistance. Cardiac output is determined by the
blood volume, venous tone, stroke volume, and heart rate. Vascular
resistance is determined by a variety of neural influences, especially
sympathetic tone, and a variety of hormonal factors, especially angio-
It follows that reduction of blood pressure can be achieved by
reducing cardiac output or peripheral vascular resistance. Drug groups
useful in hypertension include diuretics, sympathoplegics, vasodilators,
and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. Management may involve use
of several drugs and requires monitoring of both therapeutic efficacy and
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