Effects of carvedilol on left ventricular regional wall motion in patients with heart failure caused by ischemic heart disease
Doughty RN., Whalley GA., Gamble G., Macmahon S., Sharpe N.
Background: β-Blocker therapy has been shown to improve left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction and reduce LV volumes in patients with heart failure caused by ischemic heart disease. However, the possible mechanisms of this improvement and the effects of such treatment on regional wall motion have not been established. In a substudy of the Australia-New Zealand trial of carvedilol in patients with heart failure caused by ischemic heart disease, the effects of treatment on LV regional wall motion were assessed using 2-dimensional echocardiography. Methods and Results: One hundred nineteen patients from 10 centers were included on this substudy. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with carvedilol or placebo. Echocardiography was performed before randomization and after 6 and 12 months of treatment. LV regional wall motion was assessed using a semiquantitative scoring system. LV wall motion score index (WMSI) was reduced from 2.40 to 2.29 after 6 and 12 months in the carvedilol group and remained unchanged in the placebo group (2-tailed P = .005, carvedilol vs placebo). The percentage of myocardium with normal function also significantly improved with carvedilol treatment. Conclusions: Carvedilol improved LV regional WMSI in patients with heart failure caused by ischemic heart disease. These results indicate a mechanism by which β-blocker therapy may benefit patients with heart failure and are consistent with an intrinsic improvement in LV function after treatment with carvedilol.