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N Engl J Med. 2004 Nov 11;351(20):2049-57. Epub 2004 Nov 8.

Combination of isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine in blacks with heart failure.

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Department of Medicine/Cardiology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis 55455, USA.

Erratum in

  • N Engl J Med. 2005 Mar 24;352(12):1276.



We examined whether a fixed dose of both isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine provides additional benefit in blacks with advanced heart failure, a subgroup previously noted to have a favorable response to this therapy.


A total of 1050 black patients who had New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure with dilated ventricles were randomly assigned to receive a fixed dose of isosorbide dinitrate plus hydralazine or placebo in addition to standard therapy for heart failure. The primary end point was a composite score made up of weighted values for death from any cause, a first hospitalization for heart failure, and change in the quality of life.


The study was terminated early owing to a significantly higher mortality rate in the placebo group than in the group given isosorbide dinitrate plus hydralazine (10.2 percent vs. 6.2 percent, P=0.02). The mean primary composite score was significantly better in the group given isosorbide dinitrate plus hydralazine than in the placebo group (-0.1+/-1.9 vs. -0.5+/-2.0, P=0.01; range of possible values, -6 to +2), as were its individual components (43 percent reduction in the rate of death from any cause [hazard ratio, 0.57; P=0.01] 33 percent relative reduction in the rate of first hospitalization for heart failure [16.4 percent vs. 22.4 percent, P=0.001], and an improvement in the quality of life [change in score, -5.6+/-20.6 vs. -2.7+/-21.2, with lower scores indicating better quality of life; P=0.02; range of possible values, 0 to 105]).


The addition of a fixed dose of isosorbide dinitrate plus hydralazine to standard therapy for heart failure including neurohormonal blockers is efficacious and increases survival among black patients with advanced heart failure.

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