Congestive Heart Failure (cont.)

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What are the areas of new research in congestive heart failure?

Despite the significant advances in drug therapy for congestive heart failure over the past 20 years, many exciting developments are under active study. New classes of medications are being tested in clinical trials, including the calcium sensitizing agents, vasopeptidase inhibitors, and natriuretic peptides. As was the case with the ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, the potential use of these drugs is based on theoretical considerations that have resulted from an increased understanding of the processes both underlying and resulting from heart failure. Additionally, gene therapy that is targeted toward certain genes thought to contribute to heart failure is being tested.

These developments have justified an unprecedented optimism in the treatment of congestive heart failure. The majority of individuals, with appropriate lifestyle measures and medical regimens, can maintain active, fulfilling lifestyles. The range of treatment options has been significantly strengthened by drugs such as the ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers. In the future, we will surely see the addition of many more and equally potent interventions.

REFERENCES:

Amsterdam EA. Revised American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines for the management of heart failure. Prev Cardiol. 2005 Fall;8(4):254, 256.

Heart Failure Society Of America. Evaluation and management of patients with acute decompensated heart failure. J Card Fail. 2006 Feb;12(1):e86-e103. Review.

Larson LW, Gerbert DA, Herman LM, Leger MM, McNellis R, O'Donoghue DL, Ulshafer C, Van Dyke EM; American College of Cardiology; American Heart Association. ACC/AHA 2005 guideline update: chronic heart failure in the adult. JAAPA. 2006 Apr;19(4):53-6.

Previous contributing editor: Dennis Lee, MD


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/8/2013

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