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Heart Fail Clin. 2009 Jan;5(1):43-54, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.hfc.2008.08.003.

Pharmacologic stabilization and management of acute heart failure syndromes in the emergency department.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Effective use of diuretics, vasodilators, and inotropes to stabilize acute heart failure (AHF) relies on matching the most appropriately tailored therapy to specific clinical profiles. Some of the drugs may be harmful, and therefore the emphasis should be on patient safety and the attempt to minimize the deleterious effects of these therapies. To date, successful treatment has been limited because no agent has been shown to reduce postdischarge mortality or readmission rates, and patients frequently remain symptomatic after treatment. Ongoing research is needed to further examine these agents and to develop novel therapies to address the unmet needs of the patient who has AHF.

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