Drug-induced conditioning in congestive heart failure.
Continuous 72-hour infusions of dobutamine reportedly effect sustained clinical improvement in patients with congestive heart failure. This study was designed to determine if shorter, more frequent infusions, delivered in an outpatient setting, elicit a similar response. Twenty-six patients with moderately severe congestive heart failure were randomized, 11 into a control group and 15 into a dobutamine treatment group. Baseline data were collected for 4 weeks in each group. Thereafter, the dobutamine treatment group received 4-hour infusions of dobutamine weekly for 24 weeks. Systolic time intervals, echocardiography, cardiac index and treadmill exercise tolerance were used to follow the progress of the control and dobutamine treatment groups. The ratio of preejection period to left ventricular ejection time and the cardiac index did not change significantly in either group. The velocity of circumferential fiber shortening and the percent change in the minor axis of the left ventricle during systole improved modestly (p less than 0.05) above baseline in the dobutamine group after 14 weeks of treatment and above the corresponding control values (p less than 0.05) after 22 weeks. Exercise tolerance (duration) improved 25--51% (all p less than 0.05) above baseline in the dobutamine group compared with 10--17% (all p greater than 0.05 vs baseline) in the control group. Heart rate at maximal exercise did not change significantly from baseline for either group and did not differ significantly between the two groups. Functional classification improved in 12 of 15 dobutamine treatment patients and in only two of 11 control patients (p less than 0.05). In our patients with congestive heart failure, weekly 4-hour dobutamine infusions did not elicit a major change in resting left ventricular function; however, exercise performance and clinical status improved considerably.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association