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Med Clin North Am. 2003 Mar;87(2):493-507, xii-xiii.

Metabolic modulation and optimization of energy consumption in heart failure.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Cardiologia, Universit√† di Ferrara, Arcispedale Sant'Anna, Ferrara, Italy.


Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a common and disabling syndrome with a poor prognosis. It is a major and increasing public health problem. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, diuretics, and digitalis are the standards treatments for CHF. Other drugs, such as beta-blockers, spironolactone, calcium antagonists, vasodilators, and antiarrhythmic agents are used to counteract the progression of the syndrome or to improve the hemodynamic profile. Despite optimum treatment with neurohumoral antagonists, prognosis of CHF remains poor; the patients complain of persistent reductions in their exercise capacity and quality of life. Fatigue and shortness of breath, two common and disabling symptoms in patient with CHF, are relatively independent from hemodynamic and neuroendocrine changes, although they seem to be related to the impairment of peripheral muscle metabolism and energetic phosphate production. Therefore, CHF is a complex metabolic syndrome in which the metabolism of cardiac and peripheral muscles is impaired and novel therapeutic strategies have been aimed at positive modulation with compounds such as carnitine, trimetazidine, and ranolazine.

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