The role of nitrates in the management of stable ischemic heart disease: A review of the current evidence and guidelines

Mehul A. Pragani, Karan P. Desai, Doralisa Morrone, Mandeep S. Sidhu, William E. Boden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States and can result in significant morbidity. In particular, stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD) is a condition that affects nearly 9 million individuals in the United States alone, with substantial annual health care costs related to recurrent medical visits and chronic disease management. Nitrates form a cornerstone of SIHD management by reducing myocardial oxygen consumption and increasing exercise capacity by several mechanisms, including increasing epicardial blood flow through vasodilation and decreased vascular resistance, blunting coronary steal, and reducing preload. Yet the role of nitrates may be underappreciated in clinical practice and their utilization may be limited due to concerns of tolerance to treatment, a lack of randomized data validating their ability to prevent adverse cardiovascular events, and the pervasive use of percutaneous interventions without robust attempts at implementing optimal medical therapy. In this review, we discuss both the recent ACC/AHA/ACP/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS and European Society of Cardiology guidelines, with a particular focus on indications, contraindications, and future directions of nitrate therapy in SIHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalReviews in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Angina
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Nitrates
  • Stable ischemic heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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