beta-Blocker therapy for congestive heart failure: clinical considerations.

Sandeep A. Kamath*, Clyde W. Yancy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excessive activation of the sympathetic nervous system and local release of norepinephrine are detrimental to the failing myocardium. Blockade of the beta-adrenergic receptor system is now a potent strategy. Earlier concerns that beta-blockade would thwart compensatory mechanisms that preserve myocardial function are no longer valid in the compensated state. Over the past 2 decades, a large body of evidence has accrued indicating marked benefits in symptoms and survival as well as favorable changes in myocardial architecture with beta-blocker therapy in patients who have compensated heart failure with impaired systolic function. This article outlines the rationale for beta-blocker therapy, examines both the early and the large-scale clinical work with beta-blocker therapy for congestive heart failure, highlights additional novel aspects of beta-blocker therapy for heart failure, and outlines expert recommendations about the use of beta-blockers in patients with systolic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalPostgraduate medicine
Issue number6 Suppl Beta-Blockers
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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