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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Sep 4;40(5):970-5.

Valsartan benefits left ventricular structure and function in heart failure: Val-HeFT echocardiographic study.

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VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and University of California at, Los Angeles, California 90073, USA.



The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of an angiotensin receptor blocker on left ventricular (LV) structure and function when added to prescribed heart failure therapy.


The clinical benefit derived from heart failure therapy is attributed to the regression of LV remodeling.


At 302 multinational sites, 5,010 patients in New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification II to IV heart failure taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) and/or beta-blocker (BB) were randomized into valsartan and placebo groups and followed for a mean of 22.4 months. Serial echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular internal diastolic diameter (LVIDd) and ejection fraction (EF) were recorded. Total study reproducibility calculated to 90% power at 5% significance defined detectable differences of 0.09 cm for LVIDd and 0.86% for EF.


Baseline LVIDd and EF for valsartan and placebo groups were similar: 3.6 +/- 0.5 versus 3.7 +/- 0.5 (cm/m(2)) and 26.6 +/- 7.3 versus 26.9 +/- 7.0 (%). Mean group changes from baseline over time were compared. Significant decrease in LVIDd and increase in EF began by four months, reached plateau by one year, and persisted to two years in valsartan compared with placebo patients, irrespective of age, gender, race, etiology, NYHA classification, and co-treatment therapy. Changes at 18 months were -0.12 +/- 0.4 versus -0.05 +/- 0.4 (cm/m(2)), p < 0.00001 for LVIDd, and +4.5 +/- 8.9 versus +3.2 +/- 8.6 (%), p < 0.00001 for EF. The exception occurred in patients taking both ACEI and BB as co-treatment, in whom the decrease in LVIDd and increase in EF were no different between valsartan and placebo groups.


The Val-HeFT echocardiographic substudy of 5,010 patients with moderate heart failure demonstrated that valsartan therapy taken with either ACEI or BB reversed LV remodeling.

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