Highlights in heart failure

Daniela Tomasoni, Marianna Adamo, Carlo Mario Lombardi, Marco Metra
ESC Heart Failure 2019, 6 (6): 1105-1127
Heart failure (HF) remains a major cause of mortality, morbidity, and poor quality of life. It is an area of active research. This article is aimed to give an update on recent advances in all aspects of this syndrome. Major changes occurred in drug treatment of HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Sacubitril/valsartan is indicated as a substitute to ACEi/ARBs after PARADIGM-HF (hazard ratio [HR], 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73 to 0.87 for sacubitril/valsartan vs. enalapril for the primary endpoint and Wei, Lin and Weissfeld HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.71-0.89 for recurrent events). Its initiation was then shown as safe and potentially useful in recent studies in patients hospitalized for acute HF. More recently, dapagliflozin and prevention of adverse-outcomes in DAPA-HF trial showed the beneficial effects of the sodium-glucose transporter type 2 inhibitor dapaglifozin vs. placebo, added to optimal standard therapy [HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.85;0.74; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.85 for the primary endpoint]. Trials with other SGLT 2 inhibitors and in other patients, such as those with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) or with recent decompensation, are ongoing. Multiple studies showed the unfavourable prognostic significance of abnormalities in serum potassium levels. Potassium lowering agents may allow initiation and titration of mineralocorticoid antagonists in a larger proportion of patients. Meta-analyses suggest better outcomes with ferric carboxymaltose in patients with iron deficiency. Drugs effective in HFrEF may be useful also in HF with mid-range ejection fraction. Better diagnosis and phenotype characterization seem warranted in HF with preserved ejection fraction. These and other burning aspects of HF research are summarized and reviewed in this article.


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