Baroreflex Activation Therapy in Congestive Heart Failure: Novel Findings and Future Insights

Guido Grassi, Gian Maria Brambilla, Daniela Prata Pizzalla, Gino Seravalle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Congestive heart failure is characterized by hemodynamic and non-hemodynamic abnormalities, the latter including an activation of the sympathetic influences to the heart and peripheral circulation coupled with an impairment of baroreceptor control of autonomic function. Evidence has been provided that both these alterations are hallmark features of the disease with a specific relevance for the disease progression as well as for the development of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. In addition, a number of studies have documented in heart failure the adverse prognostic role of the sympathetic and baroreflex alterations, which both are regarded as major independent determinants of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This represents the pathophysiological and clinical background for the use of carotid baroreceptor activation therapy in the treatment of congestive heart failure. Promising data collected in experimental animal models of heart failure have supported the recent performance of pilot small-scale clinical studies, aimed at providing initial information in this area. The results of these studies demonstrated the clinical safety and efficacy of the intervention which has been tested in large-scale clinical studies. The present paper will critically review the background and main results of the published studies designed at defining the clinical impact of baroreflex activation therapy in congestive heart failure patients. Emphasis will be given to the strengths and limitations of such studies, which represent the background for the ongoing clinical trials testing the long-term effects of the device in heart failure patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • Arterial baroreceptors
  • Baroreflex activation therapy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Mortality
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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