, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 275-285,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Mar 2014

Serelaxin: A Novel Therapy for Acute Heart Failure with a Range of Hemodynamic and Non-Hemodynamic Actions

Abstract

Acute heart failure (AHF) is characterized by high morbidity and mortality and high costs. Although the treatment of AHF has not changed substantially in recent decades, it is becoming clear that treatment strategies for AHF need to address both the immediate hemodynamic abnormalities giving rise to congestion as well as prevent organ damage that can influence long-term prognosis. Serelaxin, the recombinant form of human relaxin-2, a naturally occurring peptide hormone, has been found to significantly improve symptoms and signs of AHF, prevent in-hospital worsening heart failure, as well as significantly improve 180-day cardiovascular and all-cause mortality after a 48-h infusion commenced within 16 h of presentation (RELAX-AHF study). Available data suggest that the clinical benefits may be attributable to a potential combination of multiple actions of serelaxin, including improving systemic, cardiac, and renal hemodynamics, and protecting cells and organs from damage via anti-inflammatory, anti-cell death, anti-fibrotic, anti-hypertrophic, and pro-angiogenic effects. This manuscript describes the short- and long-term effects of serelaxin in AHF patients, analyzing how these effects can be explained by taking into account the range of hemodynamic and non-hemodynamic actions of serelaxin. In addition, this paper also addresses several aspects related to the role of serelaxin in the therapy of AHF that remain to be clarified and warrant further investigation.