The role of heart rate and ivabradine in acute heart failure
Resting heart rate (HR) is considered a powerful predictor of mortality both in healthy subjects and in cardiovascular (CV) patients, including those affected by heart failure (HF). Its reduction below 70 bpm is the treatment target in chronic HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) when sinus rhythm is present. In acute HF (AHF) HR is usually elevated but its role as risk marker is still unknown. Notably, in unstable patients, beta-blockers can be reduced or stopped, thus enhancing this phenomenon. Moreover, some data in literature suggest that HR reduction during hospitalization or HR at discharge or in the vulnerable phase after it are more predictive of early-term events and may be therapeutic targets. On the other hand, ivabradine is a pure HR-lowering drug with no effects on inotropism. Its role in the AHF setting has been recently investigated and is the object of this review.
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