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Current Drug Abuse Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1874-4737
ISSN (Online): 1874-4745

Cocaine and Acute Vascular Diseases

Author(s): A. De Giorgi, F. Fabbian, M. Pala, F. Bonetti, I. Babini, I. Bagnaresi, F. Manfredini, F. Portaluppi, D. P. Mikhailidis and R. Manfredini

Volume 5 , Issue 2 , 2012

Page: [129 - 134] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1874473711205020129

Price: $58


Cocaine is one of the most widely used drugs of abuse. Chest pain is the most common side effect requiring emergency visits after cocaine use. Vasoconstriction and platelet activation are the main effects of cocaine in the vasculature. In this brief review, we consider the most important clinical effects of cocaine abuse on the heart, brain and kidney. Symptoms related to cocaine toxicity such as myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, aortic dissection, stroke, renal failure, are similar to the clinical picture of atherosclerotic vascular damage, even if the age of cocaine abusers is usually in the second and third decades. Clinicians (especially emergency department physicians) should consider substance abuse among the differential diagnosis of chest pain in young people.

Keywords: Cocaine, cardiovascular disease, chest pain, vasoconstriction, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, stroke, kidney ischemia, kidney failure

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