The RELAX Study is the first multicenter trial to check out the result of persistent therapy with sildenafil in diastolic heart failure. Sildenafil is a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor, a class of drugs used to take care of erection dysfunction and certain types of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Excellent results with sildenafil in smaller studies and animal models provided the impetus for the analysis. Margaret Redfield, MD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the study’s lead author.

While current treatment for diastolic center failure includes recommendations for weight loss, smoking cessation, and managing blood pressure, there are no medications available for its treatment specifically. Because sildenafil can increase blood supply to the lungs, and in animal studies it improved heart and vascular structure and function, researchers believed the drug would improve heart and lung function for diastolic heart failure patients.

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According to Dr. Redfield, although it can be done that factors such as insufficient medication dosage or length of time contributed with their results, she believes this is improbable based on the outcomes of other studies finding advantages from sildenafil. It really is more likely that, in comparison to other types of heart failure, the condition process seen in diastolic heart failing differs and does not respond well to this category of drug, she said.

Diastolic heart failing is a type of heart failure, where the heart’s lower chambers (the ventricles) become stiff and cannot completely relax and fill between beats. When the center cannot pump bloodstream effectively, bloodstream can support into the lungs and all of those other body, causing heart failing symptoms such as shortness of breathing. In the RELAX study, patients with diastolic center failure were signed up for nine major centers that make up the Heart Failure Clinical Research Network as well as 16 associated centers.

To meet addition criteria, participants had to execute a cardiopulmonary exercise test and have heart and blood tests showing that they had severe restrictions in exercise capacity and abnormalities in the structure and function of their hearts. The principal endpoint of the scholarly study was peak exercise capacity after 24 weeks of therapy with the drug sildenafil. This drug is more commonly known as Viagra and used to take care of erection dysfunction or as Revatio and used for treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. The study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. For all those outcomes, research results were natural, showing no beneficial aftereffect of sildenafil on center-failure patients.

Although sildenafil and other PDE-5 inhibitors are not labeled for center failure, it is possible that some clinicians may be prescribing these drugs because of their heart failure patients predicated on the results of primary studies, which suggest a benefit. While Dr. Redfield does not believe a more substantial trial of PDE-5 inhibitors is warranted in the general inhabitants of patients with diastolic heart failure, she said further research is required to ascertain their potential benefits with certain subgroups of patients. Other small studies have showed benefits from the drug for patients with diastolic center failing who also had high blood circulation pressure, right ventricular dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Dr. Redfield said, noting that ongoing tests in the U.S.

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