The available data suggest that digitalis improves symptoms of a failing heart in the presence of sinus rhythm as well as supraventricular arrhythmias. Intravenous digitalis administration in patients with chronic heart failure and baseline hemodynamic deterioration increases cardiac index and reduces heart rate. These beneficial effects are maintained with long-term oral therapy and are comparable with those obtained using dobutamine in patients with chronic severe heart failure. The addition of digoxin to therapy with vasodilators and diuretics confers clinical benefit in patients with moderate to severe heart failure symptoms because of systolic ventricular dysfunction. Digoxin effects on diastolic function appear to be different in patients with preserved systolic function in comparison to patients with overt heart failure and systo-diastolic dysfunction. In patients with right ventricular dysfunction digoxin does not appear to influence hemodynamic measurements unless concomitant left ventricular dysfunction is present.