Abstract / Description of output
Established hypertension is characterized by increased peripheral vascular resistance and endothelial dysfunction, features that may underlie the reduced exercise-induced vasodilatation seen in hypertensive patients. Sildenafil citrate is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor used clinically for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction. Its vasodilating properties are due to the inhibition of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) breakdown and prolongation of the signalling actions of the nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells. Sildenafil has beneficial effects on endothelial function and exercise tolerance in congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension, and we hypothesized that it would improve exercise-induced vasodilatation in hypertensive patients.