Congestive heart failure may be deemed the epidemic of cardiology in the 21st century in the industrialized part of the world. Although new therapies improving morbidity and mortality from chronic heart failure have emerged it is likely that there is a growing role for digoxin. Thus, digoxin treatment is known to control symptoms of congestive heart failure when added to standard therapy. In this setting, we review the prevailing knowledge of the Na,K-ATPase, the cellular receptor for the inotropic action of digitalis glycosides, in relation to the hemodynamic effect of digoxin. It is concluded that if improvement of hemodynamics is needed in congestive heart failure, this knowledge should be taken into account and in many cases digoxin should be added to standard therapy. Digoxin is still the only safe inotropic drug for oral use that improves hemodynamics. Digoxin should be used to heart failure patients in sinus rhythm when they after institution of mortality reducing treatment still have heart failure symptoms, and to patients intolerant to heart failure mortality reducing drugs. Digoxin should probably in heart failure patients with sinus rhythm be given in the lowest possible dose that relieves symptoms sufficiently.
- Heart failure
- Ion pumps
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)