, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1-11
Date: 09 Jan 2013

Novel Vasodilators in Heart Failure

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Heart failure is an important public health problem that is increasing in prevalence throughout the world. Not only is this condition common, but it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality as well as high costs to medical care systems. Vasodilator drugs help unload the heart and may have other effects that could benefit heart failure patients. Consequently, they have emerged as an important therapeutic approach for patients with this condition. Novel vasodilator therapies that are currently in development target new pathways, potentially giving clinicians alternate options for improving outcomes in this vulnerable population. This review focuses on investigational drugs that have the ability to dilate blood vessels amongst their therapeutic properties. These drugs include the natriuretic peptides that activate particulate guanylate cyclase, the novel agent cinaciguat that activates the soluble guanylate cyclase system, and finally a recombinant form of the naturally occurring vasodilating agent relaxin, a hormone that mediates many of the changes that allows the cardiovascular system to successfully adapt to pregnancy.