Heart Vessels. 2023 Sep 11. doi: 10.1007/s00380-023-02304-2. Online ahead of print.
Although angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) play critical roles in the treatment of heart failure with reduced or mildly reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF/HFmrEF; left-ventricular ejection fraction ≤ 50%), the ideal timing for initiation in patients with acute heart failure (AHF) is unclear. We sought to clarify the timing and safety of ACEi/ARB prescription relative to hemodynamic stabilization (pre or post) in patients hospitalized with acute HFrEF/HFmrEF. This was a retrospective, observational analysis of electronic data of patients hospitalized for AHF at 17 Japanese hospitals. Among 9107 patients hospitalized with AHF, 2648 had HFrEF/HFmrEF, and 83.0% met the hemodynamic stabilization criteria within 10 days of admission. During hospitalization, 63.5% of patients with HFrEF/HFmrEF were prescribed an ACEi/ARB, 79.4% of which were prescribed pre-stabilization. In a multivariable analysis, patients treated with an ACEi/ARB pre-stabilization were more likely to have comorbid hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or ischemic heart disease. ACEi/ARB prescription timing was not associated with adverse events, including hypotension and renal impairment, and early prescription was associated with a lower incidence of subsequent worsening of HF. In clinical practice, more hospitalized patients with AHF received an ACEi/ARB before compared with after hemodynamic stabilization, and no safety concerns were observed. Moreover, early prescription may be associated with a lower incidence of worsening HF.