Current Cardiology Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 308–313

Is Heart Rate a Treatment Target in Heart Failure?

Congestive Heart Failure (J Lindenfeld, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11886-012-0260-3

Cite this article as:
Reil, JC. & Böhm, M. Curr Cardiol Rep (2012) 14: 308. doi:10.1007/s11886-012-0260-3


Clinical and experimental studies confirmed an association between elevated resting heart rate and the risk of mortality in heart failure patients. Importantly, elevated heart rate at rest has been identified as a key finding in heart failure addressing a major treatment target. This review shows that heart rate level at rest and its extent of reduction is a sensitive indicator for successful therapy in heart failure patients demonstrating the specific influence of heart rate reduction on clinical outcome in the analyzed patients. Currently, experimental data provide convincing evidence of a pathophysiological concept of heart rate reduction; nevertheless, transition from experimental results to clinical evidence needs further clarification, especially in patients with diastolic heart failure. Since heart rate can be easily determined during physical examination, decrease in heart rate of patients allows a simple hint on prognosis and efficiency of heart failure therapy.


Heart rate Heart failure Treatment target 

Clinical Trial Acronyms


Morbidity-Mortality Evaluation of the If Inhibitor Ivabradine in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease and Left Ventricular Dysfunction


Cardiac Insufficiency Bisoprolol Study II


Carvedilol or Metoprolol European Trial


Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Streptochianasi nell’Infarto Miocardico


Metoprolol CR/XL Randomized Intervention Trial in Congestive Heart Failure


Systolic Heart Failure Treatment with the If-Inhibitor Ivabradine Trial

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Klinik für Innere Medizin III (Kardiologie, Angiologie, Internistische Intensivmedizin)Universitätsklinikum des SaarlandesHomburg/SaarGermany

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