Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is present in a significant number of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) caused by left ventricular dysfunction and is associated with significant morbidity and increased mortality rates. Thus it is necessary to establish therapy to improve the outcome in this high-risk population. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from the US Carvedilol Heart Failure Trials Program and identified patients with AF at the time of enrollment. In these trials, 1094 patients with at least 3 months of heart failure symptoms and an ejection fraction ≤0.35 were randomly assigned to receive carvedilol or placebo in a double-blind, stratified program according to performance on an exercise test. Results: One hundred thirty-six patients with concomitant AF and CHF were identified during the screening visit (84 assigned to carvedilol and 52 to placebo). Therapy with carvedilol resulted in a significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (from 23% to 33% with carvedilol and from 24% to 27% with placebo, P =.001). The physician global assessment improved in a greater number of patients treated with carvedilol than in those treated with placebo (71% vs 48%, P = .025). A trend toward a reduction in the combined end point of death or CHF hospitalization was also observed (19% in patients treated with placebo and 7% in patients on carvedilol; relative risk, 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.12, 1.02; P = .055). Conclusions: In patients with AF complicating CHF, carvedilol significantly improves left ventricular ejection fraction and physician global assessment and probably reduces the combined end point of CHF hospitalizations or death.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine