Patricia Palau, Julia Seller, Eloy Domínguez, Clara Sastre, Jose María Ramón, Rafael de La Espriella, Enrique Santas, Gema Miñana, Vicent Bodí, Juan Sanchis, Alfonso Valle, F. Javier Chorro, Pau Llácer, Antoni Bayés-Genís, Julio Núñez

Nov 15, 2021
Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Background Chronotropic incompetence has shown to be associated with a decrease in exercise capacity in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), yet β-blockers are commonly used in HFpEF despite the lack of robust evidence.
Objective This study aimed to evaluate the effect of β-blocker withdrawal on peak oxygen consumption (peak Vo2) in patients with HFpEF and chronotropic incompetence.
Method This is a multicenter, randomized, investigator-blinded, crossover clinical trial consisting of 2 treatment periods of 2 weeks separated by a washout period of 2 weeks. Patients with stable HFpEF, New York Heart Association functional classes II and III, previous treatment with β-blockers, and chronotropic incompetence were first randomized to withdrawing from (arm A: n = 26) versus continuing (arm B: n = 26) β-blocker treatment and were then crossed over to receive the opposite intervention. Changes in peak Vo2 and percentage of predicted peak Vo2 (peak Vo2%) measured at the end of the trial were the primary outcome measures. To account for the paired-data nature of this crossover trial, linear mixed regression analysis was used.
Result The mean age was 72.6 ± 13.1 years, and most of the patients were women (59.6%) in New York Heart Association functional class II (66.7%). The mean peakVo2 and peak Vo2% were 12.4 ± 2.9 mL/kg/min, and 72.4 ± 17.8%, respectively. No significant baseline differences were found across treatment arms. Peak Vo2 and peak Vo2% increased significantly after β-blocker withdrawal (14.3 vs 12.2 mL/kg/min [Δ +2.1 mL/kg/min]; P < 0.001 and 81.1 vs 69.4% [Δ +11.7%]; P < 0.001, respectively).
Conclusion -blocker withdrawal improved maximal functional capacity in patients with HFpEF and chronotropic incompetence. β-blocker use in HFpEF deserves profound re-evaluation. ...

Please Log In to leave a comment.