JACC Heart Fail. 2023 Aug 25:S2213-1779(23)00410-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2023.07.014. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Medical treatment for heart failure (HF) with preserved ejection (HFpEF) and with mildly reduced ejection fraction (HFmrEF) has weaker evidence compared with reduced ejection fraction, despite recent trials with an angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i).
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to estimate the aggregate therapeutic benefit of drugs for HFmrEF and HFpEF.
METHODS: We performed a systematic review of MEDLINE, CENTRAL, and Web of Science for randomized trials including patients with HF and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) >40%, treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (analyzed together as renin-angiotensin system inhibitors [RASi]), beta-blockers (BBs), mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs), digoxin, ARNI, and SGLT2i. An additive component network meta-analysis was performed. The primary outcome was a composite of cardiovascular (CV) death and first hospitalization for heart failure (HHF); secondary outcomes were CV death, total HHF, and all-cause mortality.
RESULTS: We identified 13 studies with a total of 29,875 patients and a mean LVEF of 56.3% ± 8.7%. ARNI, MRA, and SGLT2i separately, but not RASi, BB, or digoxin, reduced the primary composite outcome compared with placebo. The combination of ARNI, BB, MRA, and SGLT2i was the most effective (HR: 0.47 [95% CI: 0.31-0.70]); this was largely explained by the triple combination of ARNI, MRA, and SGLT2i (HR: 0.56 [95% CI 0.43-0.71]). Results were similar for CV death (HR: 0.63 [95% CI 0.43-0.91] for ARNI, MRA, and SGLT2i) or total HHF (HR: 0.49 [95% CI 0.33-0.71] for ARNI, MRA, and SGLT2i) alone. In a subgroup analysis, only SGLT2i had a consistent benefit among all LVEF subgroups, whereas the triple combination had the greatest benefit in HFmrEF, robust benefit in patients with LVEF 50% to 59%, and a statistically marginal benefit in patients with LVEF ≥60%.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with HF and LVEF>40%, the quadruple combination of ARNI, BB, MRA, and SGLT2i provides the largest reduction in the risk of CV death and HHF; driven by the robust effect of the triple combination of ARNI, MRA, and SGLT2i. The benefit was more pronounced in HFmrEF patients.