Vasodilators in Acute Heart Failure: Review of the Latest Studies
Source : 1Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Assistant Director of Clinical Research, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Associate Director of Clinical Research, Department of Emergency, Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 4201 St. Antoine; UHC – 6G, Detroit, MI 48201.
Abstract : Vasodilators play an important role in the management of acute heart failure, particularly when increased afterload is the precipitating cause of decompensation. The time-honored approach to afterload reduction has been largely focused on use of intravenous nitrovasodilators and, when properly dosed, this class of agents does provide substantial symptom relief for patients with acute hypertensive heart failure. Despite this, nitrovasodilators have never been shown to diminish mortality or provide any post-discharge outcome benefit leading to an on-going search for viable and more effective alternatives. While no new vasodilators have been approved for use in acute heart failure since nesiritide more than a decade ago, a number of novel agents have been developed, with some showing significant promise in recent clinical trials. In this review, we summarize the latest study data as it relates to vasodilator therapy and provide a glimpse into the not too distant future state of acute heart failure care.