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Tamargo J, Caballero R, Gómez R, Barana A, Amorós I, Delpón E

Investigational positive inotropic agents for acute heart failure.

Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets. 2009 Sep;9(3):193-205, PMID: 19534658

Acute heart failure represents a major public health problem due to its high prevalence, high rates of mortality and readmissions and significant healthcare costs. Patients with AHF and low cardiac output represent a small subgroup of patients with very high mortality rates that require inotropic support to improve cardiac systolic function. Classical inotropic agents, such as beta1-adrenergic agonists (dobutamine, dopamine) and phosphodiesterase III inhibitors (milrinone, enoximone) improve symptoms and hemodynamics by increasing free intracellular Ca(2+) levels, but also increase myocardial O(2) demands and exert arrhythmogenic effects. These actions explain why these drugs increase both short- and long-term mortality, particularly in patients with AHF and coronary artery disease. Thus, we need new inotropic agents that do not increase cytosolic Ca(2+) or myocardial oxygen demands or produce arrhythmogenesis for the treatment of high-risk patients with acute heart failure and low cardiac output. This review describes three new classes of investigational agents: levosimendan, a calcium sensitizer and potassium channel opener, istaroxime, the first new luso-inotropic agent and cardiac myosin activators.

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Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional IMIM - Parc de Salut Mar