New Inotropic Drugs for the Treatment of Heart Failure

  • Richard A. Goldstein
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 42)


Treatment of congestive heart failure consists of to salt restriction, diuretics, digitalis glycosides and recently, vasodilators. However, reports indicate that the prognosis of heart failure is similar to that of most solid cancers (1). Oral inotropic therapy has been limited to digitalis glycosides for nearly 200 years. Nevertheless, there is still considerable controversy over the efficacy of the drug for acute and chronic failure. Several studies suggest that withdrawal of digitalis does not change the clinical status of most patients (2,3). Fleg et al reported in a double blinded placebo controlled trial that oral digoxin did not increase exercise tolerance or improve left ventricular function (4). In addition, the high frequency of digitalis toxicity has prompted a search for safer, more potent agents to increase contractility. In this paper, the inotropic agents under investigation will be reviewed (Table 1).


Severe Heart Failure Inotropic Agent Severe Congestive Heart Failure Left Ventricular Filling Pressure Ventricular Filling Pressure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Goldstein

There are no affiliations available

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