The Pathophysiology and New Advancements in the Pharmacologic and Exercise-Based Management of Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction: A Narrative Review

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2023 Sep 21;15(9):e45719. doi: 10.7759/cureus.45719. eCollection 2023 Sep.


Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) is a clinical syndrome whose management has significantly evolved based on the pathophysiology and disease process. It is widely prevalent, has a relatively high mortality rate, and is comparatively more common in men than women. In HFrEF, the series of maladaptive processes that occur lead to an inability of the muscle of the left ventricle to pump blood efficiently and effectively, causing cardiac dysfunction. The neurohormonal and hemodynamic adaptations play a significant role in the advancement of the disease and are critical to guiding the treatment and management of HFrEF. The first-line therapy, which includes loop diuretics, β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers, hydralazine/isosorbide-dinitrate, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs), has been proven to provide symptomatic relief and decrease mortality and complications. The newly recommended drugs for guideline-based therapy, angiotensin receptor/neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI), sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors, soluble guanylate cyclase, and myosin activators and modulators have also been shown to improve cardiac function, reverse cardiac remodeling, and reduce mortality rates. Recent studies have demonstrated that exercise-based therapy has resulted in an improved quality of life, exercise capacity, cardiac function, and decreased hospital readmission rates, but it has not had a considerable reduction in mortality rates. Combining multiple therapies alongside holistic advances such as exercise therapy may provide synergistic benefits, ultimately leading to improved outcomes for patients with HFrEF. Although first-line treatment, novel pharmacologic management, and exercise-based therapy have been shown to improve prognosis, the existing literature suggests a need for further studies evaluating the long-term effects of MRA and ARNI.

PMID:37868488 | PMC:PMC10590213 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.45719

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