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Heart rate control with adrenergic blockade: Clinical outcomes in cardiovascular medicine

Authors Feldman D, Elton TS, Menachemi DM, Wexler RK

Published 24 May 2010 Volume 2010:6 Pages 387—397


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

David Feldman1, Terry S Elton2, Doron M Menachemi3, Randy K Wexler4

1Heart Failure/Transplant and VAD Programs, Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; 2Division of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA; 3Heart Failure Services, Edith Wolfson Medical Center, The Heart Institute, Sakler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Holon, Israel; 4Department of Clinical Family Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Abstract: The sympathetic nervous system is involved in regulating various cardiovascular parameters including heart rate (HR) and HR variability. Aberrant sympathetic nervous system expression may result in elevated HR or decreased HR variability, and both are independent risk factors for development of cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, myocardial infarction, and hypertension. Epidemiologic studies have established that impaired HR control is linked to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. One successful way of decreasing HR and cardiovascular mortality has been by utilizing β-blockers, because their ability to alter cell signaling at the receptor level has been shown to mitigate the pathogenic effects of sympathetic nervous system hyperactivation. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that β-blocker-mediated HR control improvements are associated with decreased mortality in postinfarct and heart failure patients. Although improved HR control benefits have yet to be established in hypertension, both traditional and vasodilating β-blockers exert positive HR control effects in this patient population. However, differences exist between traditional and vasodilating β-blockers; the latter reduce peripheral vascular resistance and exert neutral or positive effects on important metabolic parameters. Clinical evidence suggests that attainment of HR control is an important treatment objective for patients with cardiovascular conditions, and vasodilating β-blocker efficacy may aid in accomplishing improved outcomes.

Keywords: adrenergic beta-antagonists, heart failure, hypertension, myocardial infarction

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