Heart Failure: New Treatment Makes Heart "Softer"

07/24/2013
Photo: Heart and lung

A new therapy makes the heart "softer" and raises quality of life for patients with heart failure; © panther-
media.net/Samuel Micut

The cardiologist Diana Bonderman from the Department of Internal Medicine II at the Medical University of Vienna has demonstrated the effectiveness of a substance that and makes the heart "softer".

Heart failure with concomitant pulmonary hypertension is a growing health problem with a high mortality rate, above all in older people. The treatment with the substance that sticks to the so-called nitric oxide pathway demonstrably ensures a clearly improved quality of life. Heart failure is regarded as a "new" common disease; according to expert estimates, in Austria there are around 250,000 people suffering from this condition.

Bonderman says: "The substance, a 'soluble gluanylate cyclase stimulator', causes the enlarged and calcified heart to become 'softer' so that it can beat more easily, after a heart attack for example. This means the pressure, which arises in the left half of the heart when the heart beats, is reduced and, consequently, the pulmonary pressure also no longer increases or is reduced. It widens the blood vessels and improves the heart’s performance."

201 sufferers were involved in the current multi-national study. According to the cardiologist summarizing the result, an overwhelming majority stated that after the treatment their quality of life had clearly improved and everyday activities such as going shopping or climbing stairs were easier.

Heart failure and its concomitant pulmonary hypertension lead to a reduction in performance, circulatory disorders and often to shortness of breath when lying down. Without treatment it can lead to severe heart failure. The person affected finds it difficult to walk very far or to take part in normal daily life. Heart failure is the inability of the heart to move the amount of blood required by the body without an increase in pressure in the atria of the heart and, as a result, in the lungs as well.

MEDICA.de; Quelle: Medical University of Vienna