|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 6 | Page : 413-415
Is there a place for angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors in the treatment of heart failure patients after heart transplantation?
Dario Gulin1, Zrinka Planinic2, Jasna Cerkez Habek3, Jozica Sikic1
1 Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital “Sveti Duh”; University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia
2 Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital “Sveti Duh”, Zagreb, Croatia
3 Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital “Sveti Duh”; Croatian Catholic University, Zagreb, Croatia
|Date of Submission||12-Feb-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||23-Jul-2019|
|Date of Web Publication||16-Jan-2020|
Dr. Dario Gulin
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital “Sveti Duh”, Sveti Duh 64, 10000 Zagreb
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
We present a case report of a heart failure patient after heart transplantation due to end-stage ischemic cardiomyopathy with significant clinical and echocardiographic improvement 3 months after the introduction of sacubitril/valsartan, an angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor. This new class of drugs is proved to be beneficial in heart failure patients, especially with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), but they have not yet been used in heart failure patients after heart transplantation. We believe that the increase of left ventricular systolic function, improvement of global longitudinal strain, and reduction of pulmonary hypertension with consequent clinical recovery in our patient may have been caused by sacubitril/valsartan.
Keywords: Heart failure, heart transplantation, sacubitril/valsartan
|How to cite this article:|
Gulin D, Planinic Z, Habek JC, Sikic J. Is there a place for angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors in the treatment of heart failure patients after heart transplantation?. Indian J Pharmacol 2019;51:413-5
|How to cite this URL:|
Gulin D, Planinic Z, Habek JC, Sikic J. Is there a place for angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors in the treatment of heart failure patients after heart transplantation?. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Feb 6];51:413-5. Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2019/51/6/413/276048
| » Introduction|| |
Angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors (ARNIs) have been introduced in the past few years as a new class of drugs for the treatment of heart failure patients. Its benefits have been proven in randomized control trials in heart failure patients, mostly with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF)., Beside angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), neprilysin inhibition with sacubitril augments beneficial counterregulatory systems resulting in increased levels of several endogenous vasoactive peptides (including natriuretic peptide, bradykinin, and adrenomedullin). Therefore, inhibition of both neprilysin and renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system is believed to be more effective than single angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or single ARB therapy in heart failure patients. Furthermore, recent studies reveal new indications and information about ARNI benefit in patients after myocardial infarction by reducing myocardial fibrosis and remodeling. Treatment of heart failure in patients after heart transplantation is challenging with limitations in therapeutic possibilities. We present a case report of a heart failure patient after heart transplantation with significant clinical and echocardiographic improvement after sacubitril/valsartan introduction.
| » Case Report|| |
A 56-year-old male patient, who had an orthotopic heart transplantation in 2014 due to end-stage ischemic cardiomyopathy, was hospitalized for acute heart failure with N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide value of 4068 ng/L and 2-month history of worsening dyspnea, fatigue, and reduced exercise tolerance. These symptoms, in varying intensity, have been present since early after heart transplantation causing several heart failure hospitalizations over the years. Two-dimensional echocardiography examination in 2015, 1 year after heart transplantation, already showed globally hypokinetic left ventricle with reduced systolic function (EF: 35%), reduced right ventricle systolic function (tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion: 10 mm), and indirect signs of pulmonary hypertension (right ventricular systolic pressure [RVSP]: 59 mmHg). Endomyocardial biopsy was performed in 2016 and showed no evidence of rejection (Grade ISHLT-0R, according to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation criteria). Furthermore, there was no sign of cardiac allograft vasculopathy 0 on repeated coronary angiographies, last one being performed in 2017. During the last hospitalization, there was an echocardiographic deterioration showing a further reduction of left ventricle systolic function (EF: 29%), diffuse hypocontractility (Average global longitudinal peak systolic strain [GLPSavg] −4.1%) [Figure 1], and increase in pulmonary artery hypertension (RVSP: 65 mmHg). Along with immunosuppressive (cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil) and standard heart failure therapy, to improve cardiac function, sacubitril/valsartan was added into the treatment. At first, sacubitril/valsartan was started with the lowest dose of 24/26 mg twice a day, which was up titrated 2 weeks later to 49/51 mg twice a day. After 3 months, during regular follow-up, the patient was feeling much better with significantly improved physical activity tolerance. Clinically, there were no signs of peripheral edema, elevated jugular venous pressure, or pulmonary congestion on chest X-ray. Latest echocardiography examination showed surprising improvement of left ventricular systolic function (EF: 41%) and longitudinal myocardial deformation (GLPSavg − 7.4%) with reduction of pulmonary artery hypertension (RVSP: 50 mmHg) [Figure 2].
|Figure 1: Echocardiography examination showing ejection fraction and global longitudinal strain before sacubitril/valsartan introduction|
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|Figure 2: Echocardiography examination showing ejection fraction and global longitudinal strain 3 months after sacubitril/valsartan introduction|
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| » Discussion|| |
ARNIs are proved to be effective in patients with heart failure, especially with reduced systolic function (HFrEF). Heart transplantation is the treatment of choice for end-stage heart failure refractory to optimal medical therapy, but there is no sufficient information for heart failure treatment after heart transplantation. We believe that sacubitril/valsartan addition into our patient's therapy may have caused heart failure symptoms relief and significant echocardiographic improvement of left ventricular systolic function, global longitudinal strain, and reduction of pulmonary hypertension. To our knowledge and available evidence-based literature, sacubitril/valsartan has not been used in heart failure patients after heart transplantation. Definitely, this requires further investigation to improve therapeutic possibilities for heart failure patients after heart transplantation.
Declaration of patient consent
The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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