Background. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, diuretics, and digoxin are each effective in treating congestive heart failure, but many patients remain symptom-limited on all three medications. This trial was designed to determine whether the addition of oral flosequinan, a new direct- acting arterial and venous vasodilator with possible dose-dependent positive inotropic effects, improves exercise tolerance and quality of life in such patients. Methods and Results. In a randomized, double-blind multicenter trial, 322 patients with predominantly New York Heart Association class II or III congestive heart failure and left ventricular ejection fractions of 35% or less, who were stabilized on a diuretic, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, and digoxin, were treated with 100 mg flosequinan once daily, 75 mg flosequinan twice daily, or matching placebo. Efficacy was evaluated with serial measurements of treadmill exercise time, responses to the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire (LWHF), and clinical assessments during a baseline phase and a 16-week treatment period. After 16 weeks, 100 mg flosequinan once daily produced a significant increment in median exercise time (64 seconds at 16 weeks) compared with placebo (5 seconds), whereas the higher-dose flosequinan group did not show a statistically significant increase. Flosequinan (100 mg once daily) also improved the overall LWHF score significantly compared with placebo; both active therapies decreased the physical component, but 75 mg flosequinan twice daily was associated with a trend toward worsening of the emotional component. Most clinical assessments tended to improve on active therapy. Conclusions. These results indicate that additional symptomatic benefit can be attained by adding flosequinan to a therapeutic regimen already including a converting enzyme inhibitor. Because in the future most patients will fall into this category, flosequinan is a potential adjunctive agent in the management of severe congestive heart failure. However, because recent evidence indicates that the flosequinan dose studied in the present trial has an adverse effect on survival, the benefit-to-risk ratio must be assessed in individual patients.
- angiotensin converting enzyme
- heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)