Pharmacotherapies in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Feb 28;13(2):e13604. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13604.


BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) causes significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It is a growing problem in the developed world, especially, in the aging population. There is a paucity of data on the treatment of patients with HFpEF. We aimed to identify pharmacotherapies that improve peak oxygen consumption (peak VO2), cardiovascular mortality, and HF hospitalizations in patients with HFpEF.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature search for English studies in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google scholar. We searched databases using terms relating to or describing HFpEF, stage C HFpEF, and diastolic HF and included only randomized controlled trials (RCTs). RevMan 5.4 (The Cochrane Collaboration, 2020, London, UK) was used for data analysis, and two independent investigators performed literature retrieval and data-extraction. We used PRISMA guidelines to report the outcomes. We included 14 articles in our systematic review and six studies in meta-analysis.

RESULTS: We calculated the pooled mean difference (MD) of peak VO2 between placebo and pharmacotherapies. Our meta-analysis showed that the peak VO2 was comparable between pharmacotherapies and placebo in HFpEF (MD = 0.09, 95% CI: -0.11, 0.30, I2 =28%). Our systematic review highlights that statins and spironolactone use should be further studied in larger RCTs due to their potential beneficial effect on all-cause mortality and hospitalizations, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Compared to placebo, none of the pharmacotherapies significantly improved peak VO2 in HFpEF except ivabradine. In our meta-analysis, the pooled improvement in peak VO2 is non-significant. This needs validation with larger studies. We are lacking larger studies on pharmacotherapies that improve peak VO2 in HFpEF. Statin and spironolactone should be further studied in patients with HFpEF as few trials have shown improvement in all-cause mortality and reduction in HF hospitalizations in selected patients, respectively.

PMID:33816003 | PMC:PMC8009057 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.13604

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