Despite favorable improvements in mortality, heart failure (HF) remains a problematic illness due to the ever-present burden of hospitalization. Clearly, novel treatment strategies are needed. This review focuses on two newer pharmacologic targets: arginine vasopressin and aldosterone. Arginine vasopressin receptor antagonists will most likely serve as an adjunct to or replacement of standard diuretic therapy in selected patients. The safety and efficacy of chronic therapy with oral arginine vasopressin receptor antagonists in large groups of congestive HF patients is currently under investigation. Aldosterone antagonism is emerging as a treatment of severe congestive HF. Recent large-scale clinical trials using aldosterone antagonists have proven that those with HF or left ventricular dysfunction postmyocardial infarction derive a survival benefit from aldosterone antagonism. Whether aldosterone antagonism should be prescribed in all patients with HF is unclear; however, in carefully selected and managed patients, aldosterone antagonism is helpful.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine