Heart failure is the most frequent cause of hospitalization in elderly population. Unlike the therapy of congestive heart failure, there was only a modest progress in the medical treatment for acutely decompensated heart failure over the past several decades. Moreover, current treatment is associated with many limitations in clinical practice. The family of natriuretic peptides consists of several structurally similar polypeptides (ANP, BNP, CNP, urodilatin, DNP). ANP and BNP are the most characterized substances and represent an important compensatory mechanisms in heart failure because of their vasodilatory, natriuretic and antiproliferative effects. Nesiritide is a recombinant human BNP which has been shown to be effective in treating heart failure in several clinical trials. However, a recent meta-analysis revealed a nesiritide-associated increased 30-day-mortality rate. The results of initial small-sized trials suggest beneficial hemodynamic effects of urodilatin in decompensated heart failure. Despite of being approved for the treatment of decompensated heart failure in some countries, the clinical relevance of nesiritide is currently unclear. Urodilatin might represent a potential alternative.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.