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Eur J Heart Fail. 2000 Jun;2(2):209-12.

Clinical trials update: OPTIME-CHF, PRAISE-2, ALL-HAT.

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Department of Cardiology, Academic Unit, Castle Hill Hospital, Castle Road, HU16 5JQ, Kingston upon Hull, UK.


This is a summary of reports of presentation made at the American College of Cardiology 49th Scientific Sessions, Anaheim, 12-15 March 2000. Studies with a particular interest for heart failure physicians have been reviewed. OPTIME-CHF: Outcomes of a Prospective Trial of Intravenous Milrinone for Exacerbations of Chronic Heart Failure. OPTIME-CHF was a randomised-controlled trial comparing a 48-h infusion of Milrinone or standard therapy in 951 patients recruited over a 2-year period. Patients were excluded if the investigator believed their clinical condition mandated inotropic therapy. Patients were randomised within 48 h of admission for an acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure to receive Milrinone or placebo infision for 48 h. Of the patients 43% were diabetics, 70% were receiving an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, 25% were already on a beta-Blocker, and 34% had atrial fibrillation. There was no significant difference between the two groups in length of hospital stay during the index admission, subsequent readmissions and days in hospital over the following 60 days. Subjective clinical assessment scores were also no different. There was an average admission rate over the next year of one per patient in both groups. However, there was a significant increase in the incidence of sustained hypotension in the Milrinone group, which accounted for all of the increased adverse event rates for the active therapy. The 60-day mortality was 10% in both groups. This and previous trials of the oral formulation of Milrinone have now clearly demonstrated a lack of benefit with Milrinone in either during acute exacerbations of or in stable severe chronic heart failure [Packer M, Carver JR, Rodeheffer RJ et al. Effect of oral Milrinone on mortality in severe chronic heart failure. N Engl J Med 1991;325:1468-1475.]. Medium sized studies of Milrinone in patients with milder severities of heart failure also suggested an adverse impact on prognosis in the presence or absence of digoxin [DiBianco R, Shabetai R, Kostuk W, Moran J, Schlant RC, Wright R. A comparison of oral Milrinone, digoxin, and their combination in the treatment of patients with chronic heart failure. N Engl J Med 1989;320:677-683.]. Whether Milrinone even has a role for the management of a haemodyamic crisis requiring inotropic therapy must also be questioned.

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