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Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2000 Oct;2(5):439-450.

Diastolic Heart Failure.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucas Street, Suite 816, PO Box 250625, Charleston, SC 29425-5799, USA.


The diagnosis of diastolic heart failure (DHF) can be made when a patient has both symptoms and signs on physical exam of congestive heart failure (CHF), and normal left ventricular volume and ejection fraction. Documentation of abnormal diastolic function is confirmatory but not mandatory. Diastolic heart failure is a frequent cause of CHF (prevalence is 35% to 50%) and has a significant effect on mortality (5-year mortality rate is 25% to 35%) and morbidity (1-year readmission rate is 50%). Treatment should be targeted at symptoms, causal clinical disease, and underlying basic mechanisms. Symptom-targeted therapy: decrease pulmonary venous pressure using diuretics and long-acting nitrates, maintain atrial contraction and atrial ventricular synchrony, reduce heart rate using beta-adrenergic blockers and calcium channel blockers; increase exercise tolerance by reducing exercise- induced increases in blood pressure and heart rate using angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Disease-targeted therapy: prevent or treat myocardial ischemia, prevent or regress left ventricular hypertrophy. Mechanism-targeted therapy (future directions): modify neurohumoral activation using renin, angiotensin, and aldosterone system antagonists (ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockade, aldosterone and renin antagonist); endothelin antagonists; nitric oxide agonists; and atrial natruretic peptide agonists; alter intracellular mechanisms; alter extracellular matrix structures.

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