, 108:356,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Jun 2013

How can we cure a heart “in flame”? A translational view on inflammation in heart failure

Abstract

The prevalence of chronic heart failure is still increasing making it a major health issue in the 21st century. Tremendous evidence has emerged over the past decades that heart failure is associated with a wide array of mechanisms subsumed under the term “inflammation”. Based on the great success of immuno-suppressive treatments in auto-immunity and transplantation, clinical trials were launched targeting inflammatory mediators in patients with chronic heart failure. However, they widely lacked positive outcomes. The failure of the initial study program directed against tumor necrosis factor-α led to the search for alternative therapeutic targets involving a broader spectrum of mechanisms besides cytokines. We here provide an overview of the current knowledge on immune activation in chronic heart failure of different etiologies, summarize clinical studies in the field, address unresolved key questions, and highlight some promising novel therapeutic targets for clinical trials from a translational basic science and clinical perspective.

This article is part of the Topical Collection Novel Perspectives on Heart Failure.