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      Managing the Post-Myocardial Infarction Patient with Asymptomatic Left Ventricular Dysfunction

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          The percentage of post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction (ALVD) is now estimated at 10%, and that number is expected to grow as reperfusion procedures increasingly become routine. Since average all-cause mortality risk in these patients is high (up to 27%), definitive diagnostics are recommended to screen all post-MI patients for ALVD, defined as left ventricular systolic dysfunction in the absence of heart failure symptoms. Post-MI management strategies for patients with ALVD target the two routes of progression to heart failure: (1) cardiac remodeling mediated by neurohormonal activation, and (2) continued and recurrent myocardial ischemic events. Clinical trials of neurohormonal antagonists in post-MI ALVD patients have shown that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors attenuate left ventircular remodeling and that β-blocker therapy reverses remodeling for patients already on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy. Neurohormonal antagonist therapy is also associated with significant reductions in sudden death in post-MI ALVD patients.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Effect of Enalapril on Mortality and the Development of Heart Failure in Asymptomatic Patients with Reduced Left Ventricular Ejection Fractions

          It is not known whether the treatment of patients with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction reduces mortality and morbidity. We studied the effect of an angiotensin-converting--enzyme inhibitor, enalapril, on total mortality and mortality from cardiovascular causes, the development of heart failure, and hospitalization for heart failure among patients with ejection fractions of 0.35 or less who were not receiving drug treatment for heart failure. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either placebo (n = 2117) or enalapril (n = 2111) at doses of 2.5 to 20 mg per day in a double-blind trial. Follow-up averaged 37.4 months. There were 334 deaths in the placebo group, as compared with 313 in the enalapril group (reduction in risk, 8 percent by the log-rank test; 95 percent confidence interval, -8 percent [an increase of 8 percent] to 21 percent; P = 0.30). The reduction in mortality from cardiovascular causes was larger but was not statistically significant (298 deaths in the placebo group vs. 265 in the enalapril group; risk reduction, 12 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, -3 to 26 percent; P = 0.12). When we combined patients in whom heart failure developed and those who died, the total number of deaths and cases of heart failure was lower in the enalapril group than in the placebo group (630 vs. 818; risk reduction, 29 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 21 to 36 percent; P less than 0.001). In addition, fewer patients given enalapril died or were hospitalized for heart failure (434 in the enalapril group; vs. 518 in the placebo group; risk reduction, 20 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 9 to 30 percent; P less than 0.001). The angiotensin-converting--enzyme inhibitor enalapril significantly reduced the incidence of heart failure and the rate of related hospitalizations, as compared with the rates in the group given placebo, among patients with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction. There was also a trend toward fewer deaths due to cardiovascular causes among the patients who received enalapril.
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            ISIS-4: A randomised factorial trial assessing early oral captopril, oral mononitrate, and intravenous magnesium sulphate in 58 050 patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction

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              Prevalence, clinical features and prognosis of diastolic heart failure: an epidemiologic perspective.

              Numerous reports suggest that about one-third of patients with congestive heart failure do not have any abnormality of left ventricular systolic function. These patients presumably have heart failure on the basis of ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Our objective was to develop a comprehensive overview of published reports of the prevalence, clinical features and prognosis of diastolic heart failure and to offer recommendations for future studies. Thirty-one studies of patients with congestive heart failure with normal left ventricular systolic function were published in the time period from January 1970 through March 1995. These studies were identified with the use of computer-based searches in relevant data bases. Among patients with congestive heart failure, the prevalence of normal ventricular systolic performance in the published reports varies widely from 13% to 74%; the reported annual mortality rate also varies from 1.3% to 17.5%. The criteria for congestive heart failure, its chronicity and the age of the study sample affect the reported prevalence and prognosis of the disorder. The clinical signs and symptoms of diastolic heart failure are similar to those of patients with systolic heart failure, underscoring the need for evaluation of ventricular systolic function in patients with congestive heart failure. In the absence of any large-scale randomized clinical trial targeting these patients, the optimal treatment of diastolic heart failure is unclear. We conclude that the heterogeneity in previous studies of diastolic heart failure hinders the comparison of published reports. There is a need to conduct prospective, community-based investigations to better characterize the incidence, prevalence and natural history of diastolic heart failure. Randomized clinical trials are needed to determine optimal treatment strategies.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                February 2006
                10 February 2006
                : 105
                : 2
                : 95-107
                Department of Clinical Cardiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Coronary Care Unit, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Mass., USA
                89970 Cardiology 2006;105:95–107
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 9, References: 51, Pages: 13


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