Beta-blockers: new standard therapy for heart failure

Mayo Clin Proc. 2002 Aug;77(8):839-45; quiz 845-6. doi: 10.4065/77.8.839.


Despite recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, the prevalence of heart failure, a highly morbid and lethal condition, is increasing. Because of recent advances in basic and clinical research, beta-blockade is now established as a highly effective therapy that reduces morbidity and mortality dramatically in patients with heart failure associated with reduced systolic function. The new guidelines from the American College of Cardiology-American Heart Association recommend use of beta-blockers in all patients with symptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Now clinicians need to incorporate use of beta-blockers into their standard approach to the treatment of heart failure. We briefly summarize the basic and clinical evidence establishing the benefit of beta-blockers for heart failure and provide practical information to assist clinicians in deciding when and how to use beta-blockers in patients with heart failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Stroke Volume / drug effects


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists