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, R. Manfredini

Journal Name: Current Drug Abuse Reviews
Continued as Current Drug Research Reviews

Volume 5 , Issue 2 , 2012


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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Article Details

Year: 2012
Published on: 01 May, 2012
Page: [129 - 134]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1874473711205020129
Price: $58

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