There has been a 3-fold increase in hospital discharges for heart failure (HF) and also significantly increased mortality rate in HF patients in recent years. A major focus of HF research has been in the area of neurohormonal control and resynchronization therapy. There is a great urgency in better understanding the pathophysiology underlying the exceedingly high mortality and a need for exploration of therapeutic strategies beyond those that influence neurohormonal pathways. The decision to treat patients with HF with antiplatelet therapy remains largely influenced by the presence or absence of concomitant arterial disease. Antithrombotic therapy has been shown to be effective in many forms of cardiac disease, including patients with HF and atrial fibrillation. Although it is clear that platelet activation and hypercoagulability are present in HF, and there is evidence that stroke is reduced by warfarin therapy in the HF patient, the available data suggest that the risk of major bleeding overshadows the antithromboembolic benefit in HF patients in sinus rhythm. The utility of oral anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet therapy has never been evaluated in an adequately powered dedicated clinical trial of HF patients in sinus rhythm. Inthis state-of-the art paper we explore the evidence for targeting the inhibition of platelet function and coagulation to improve outcomes in the HF patient.
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine