Clinical Implications of Basic Research

Novel Strategies for the Treatment of Heart Failure

Izhak Kehat


Heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality with a prevalence that is rising throughout the world. Currently the pharmaceutical therapy of heart failure is mainly based on inhibition of the neurohumoral pathways that are activated secondary to the deterioration of cardiac function, and diuretics to alleviate the salt and water overload. With our increasing understanding of the pathophysiology of heart failure, it is now clear that the macroscopic and functional changes in the failing heart result from remodeling at the cellular, interstitial, and molecular levels. Therefore, emerging therapies propose to intervene directly in the remodeling process at the cellular and the molecular levels. Here, several experimental strategies that aim to correct the abnormalities in receptor and post-receptor-function, calcium handling, excitation and contraction coupling, signaling, and changes in the extra-cellular matrix in the failing heart will be discussed. These novel approaches, aiming to reverse the remodeling process at multiple levels, may appear on the clinical arena in the coming years.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2012;3(2):e0011