Acute heart failure syndromes (AHFS) are associated with the rapid onset of heart failure (HF) signs and symptoms. Hospitalizations for AHFS continue to rise and are associated with significant mortality and morbidity. Several pharmacological agents are currently approved for the treatment of AHFS, but their use is associated with an increase in short-term mortality. There is a need for new agents that can be given in the acute setting with increased efficacy and safety. Istaroxime is a unique agent with both inotropic and lusitropic properties which is currently being studied for the treatment of AHFS. Istaroxime inhibits the sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) and stimulates the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase isoform 2 (SERCA-2) thereby improving contractility and diastolic relaxation. Early data from human studies reveal that istaroxime decreases pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) and possibly improves diastolic function without causing a significant change in heart rate (HR), blood pressure, ischemic or arrhythmic events. Most commonly reported side effects were related to gastrointestinal intolerance and were dose related. In conclusion, istaroxime is a novel agent being investigated for the treatment of AHFS whose mechanism of action and cellular targets make it a promising therapy. Further studies with longer infusion times in patients with hypotension are required to confirm its efficacy and safety.
- Acute heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine