Cardiac and Hemodynamic Benefits: Mode of Action of Ivabradine in Heart Failure
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Heart failure has seen a number of therapeutic advances in recent years. Despite this, heart failure is still related to increasing rates of morbidity, repeated hospitalizations, and mortality. Ivabradine is a recent treatment option for heart failure. It has a mode of action that includes reduction in heart rate, and leads to improvement in outcomes related to heart failure mortality and morbidity, as demonstrated by the results of the SHIFT trial in patients with systolic heart failure, functional classes II and III on the New York Heart Association classification, and left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35%. These results are intriguing since many heart failure drugs reduce heart rate without such benefits, or with quite different effects, making it more difficult to understand the novelty of ivabradine in this setting. Many of the drugs used in heart failure modify heart rate, but most have other pathophysiological effects beyond their chronotropic action, which affect their efficacy in preventing morbidity and mortality outcomes. For instance, heart rate reduction at rest or exercise with ivabradine prolongs diastolic perfusion time, improves coronary blood flow, and increases exercise capacity. Another major difference is the increase in stroke volume observed with ivabradine, which may underlie its beneficial cardiac effects. Finally, there is mounting evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies that ivabradine has an anti-remodeling effect, improving left ventricular structures and functions. All together, these mechanisms have a positive impact on the prognosis of ivabradine-treated patients with heart failure, making a compelling argument for use of ivabradine in combination with other treatments.
KeywordsCardiology Heart failure Heart rate Ivabradine Morbidity Mortality Stroke volume
The article processing charges and the open access fee for this publication were funded by Laboratoires Servier, Brazil, an incorporated company of Servier. The named author meets the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this manuscript, takes responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and has given final approval for the version to be published.
The author has no relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity in conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript.
Compliance with ethics guidelines
This article is based on previously conducted studies and does not involve any new studies of human or animal subjects performed by the author.
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