Vol 17, No 6 (2010)
Review Article
Published online: 2010-12-08

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Management of diastolic heart failure

Anna Kazik, Krzysztof Wilczek, Lech Poloński
Cardiol J 2010;17(6):558-565.


Diastolic heart failure (HF) is also referred to as HF with preserved left ventricular systolic function. The distinction between systolic and diastolic HFs is a pathophysiological one and isolated forms of left ventricular dysfunction are rarely observed. In diastolic HF left ventricular systolic function is normal or only slightly impaired, and the typical manifestations of HF result from increased filling pressure caused by impaired relaxation and compliance of the left ventricle. The predisposing factors for diastolic dysfunction include elderly age, female sex, obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Treatment of diastolic HF is aimed to stop the progression of the disease, relieve its symptoms, eliminate exacerbations and reduce the mortality. The management should include antihypertensive treatment, maintenance of the sinus rhythm, prevention of tachycardia, venous pressure reduction, prevention of myocardial ischemia and prevention of diabetes mellitus. The European Society of Cardiology specifies the type of therapy in diastolic HF based on: angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers, non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, diuretics. In order to improve the currently poor prognosis in this group of patients the treatment of diastolic HF must be optimised. (Cardiol J 2010; 17, 6: 558-565)

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