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A nerve or an agent that causes blood vessel dilation.



one of a group of pharmacological agents that cause the smooth muscles of blood vessels to relax, which results in the widening of vascular lumens. Several groups of vasodilators are distinguished according to their mechanism of action and chemical structure.

Myotropic agents directly affect the muscular elements of the vascular wall, altering the metabolic processes and decreasing the tone of the elements. They include such purine derivatives as caffeine and theophylline, such isoquinoline derivatives as papaverine, drotaverine, salsoline, and such chromone derivatives as kellin.

Neurotropic agents exert a vasodilative effect through their influence on the neural regulation of vascular tone. They may have peripheral or central action. Those with peripheral action include adrenolytic agents, which block the adrenergic receptors of blood vessles (for example, phentolamine), and sympatholytics, which block the transmission of excitation from the endings of the sympathetic nerves that innervate blood vessels (for example, oktadin and ornid).

Other vasodilators include cholinomimetic and ganglion-blocking agents. The former, which include acetylcholine and carba-chol, facilitate the transmission of excitation from parasympathetic nerves to effector organs, including blood vessels. The latter, which include Tetamon (sympatektoman), Hexonium (esametina), and pentamin, impede the transmission of excitation in the sympathetic ganglia, resulting in a decrease in vascular tone. Derivatives of hydrazinophtalazine (for example, Apressin [Ap-resoline]), and of phenothiazine (for example, aminazine), affect the central regulation of vascular tone.

Some drugs have a mixed mechanism of action and may be centrally neurotropic and peripherally myotropic. These drugs include nitrites and nitrates (amyl nitrite, nitroglycerin, nitranol) and reserpine, which is an alkaloid isolated from the tropical plant rauwolfia. Reserpine weakens the central and peripheral adrenergic innervation of blood vessels, causing the vascular lumens to dilate and arterial pressure to decrease.

Vasodilators are used mainly in the treatment of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disorders. They are also used in surgery to reduce bleeding (by lowering arterial pressure). Many vasodilators also have other pharmacological effects.


Kaverina, N. V. Farmakologiia koronarnogo krovoobrashcheniia. Moscow, 1968.
Mashkovskii, M. D. Lekarslvennyesredstva, 7th ed., part 1. Moscow, 1972.
Hoobler, S. W., and A. S. Dontas. “Drug Treatment of Hypertension.” Pharmacological Reviews, 1953, vol. 5, no. 2.


References in periodicals archive ?
Decreased coronary vasodilatory capacity in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy determined by split-dose thallium-dipyridamole myocardial scintigraphy.
TLR2 stimulation occurs only as a response to specific triggers, such as emotional stimulation or ingestion of alcohol and kallikrein, secreted by salivary glands, increasing vasodilatory bradykinin blood levels [5, 33].
Considering the integral parts of all three regulatory systems in renal hemodynamics, the vasoconstrictor activity prevails either due to the stimulation of renin-angiotesin-aldosteron system, or due to the inhibition of prostaglandin and kallikrein-kinin systems that participate in the maintenance of the optimal hemodynamic conditions in the kidney via their vasodilatory effects.
Vasodilatory response to bradykinin and calcium ionophore was significantly impaired in animals with HC+HT compared with each risk factor alone (P<0.
Doctors are well aware of the vasodilatory effects of gyceryl trinitrate on blood vessels with this medication being a cornerstone of angina treatment for that very reason.
In particular, the fruit has remarkable anaesthetic, antihelmintic, astringent, diuretic and vasodilatory property.
Supernatant was collected and analyzed by using ELISA-kits for the vasodilatory prostaglandin(PG)E1, PGE2, and PGI2.
Vasodilatory potential of the wild strawberry leaves extract was compared with vasodilatory activity of aqueous extract of hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha, L.
This assumption is also supported by results obtained for red wines, associating the vasodilatory effect with the concentration of total phenolics (Mudnic et al.
45) A randomized double-blind study demonstrated that true acupuncture has a significant vasodilatory effect on the radial artery diameter of patients suffering from severe migraine, both during the first session of treatment, and one month after the last acupuncture session; changes that were not observed in patients who underwent sham treatments.
2,3) Theoretical advantages of mannitol include osmotic diuresis, free radical scavenging and stimulating the release of vasodilatory prostaglandins, enhancing glomerular filtration.
Iloprost is a stable prostacycline (PGI2) analogue with vasodilatory, anti-inflammatory and vascular remodeling properties.