Carvedilol Produces Dose-Related Improvements in Left Ventricular Function and Survival in Subjects With Chronic Heart Failure
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Background We conducted a multicenter, placebo-controlled trial designed to establish the efficacy and safety of carvedilol, a “third-generation” β-blocking agent with vasodilator properties, in chronic heart failure.
Methods and Results Three hundred forty-five subjects with mild to moderate, stable chronic heart failure were randomized to receive treatment with placebo, 6.25 mg BID carvedilol (low-dose group), 12.5 mg BID carvedilol (medium-dose group), or 25 mg BID carvedilol (high-dose group). After a 2- to 4-week up-titration period, subjects remained on study medication for a period of 6 months. The primary efficacy parameter was submaximal exercise measured by two different techniques, the 6-minute corridor walk test and the 9-minute self-powered treadmill test. Carvedilol had no detectable effect on submaximal exercise as measured by either technique. However, carvedilol was associated with dose-related improvements in LV function (by 5, 6, and 8 ejection fraction [EF] units in the low-, medium-, and high-dose carvedilol groups, respectively, compared with 2 EF units with placebo, P<.001 for linear dose response) and survival (respective crude mortality rates of 6.0%, 6.7%, and 1.1% with increasing doses of carvedilol compared with 15.5% in the placebo group, P<.001). When the three carvedilol groups were combined, the all-cause actuarial mortality risk was lowered by 73% in carvedilol-treated subjects (P<.001). Carvedilol also lowered the hospitalization rate (by 58% to 64%, P=.01) and was generally well tolerated.
Conclusions In subjects with mild to moderate heart failure from systolic dysfunction, carvedilol produced dose-related improvements in LV function and dose-related reductions in mortality and hospitalization rate.
- Received June 10, 1996.
- Revision received September 3, 1996.
- Accepted September 9, 1996.
- Copyright © 1996 by American Heart Association