Purpose of review: Despite major advances in medical treatments, survival rates of chronic heart failure (CHF) have not significantly changed in the past 50 years, making it imperative to search for novel pathophysiological mechanisms and therapeutic targets. In this article, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the possibility to treat such anabolic deficiencies with hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Recent findings: Mounting evidence supports the concept that CHF is a disease characterized not only by excessive neurohormonal activation but also by a reduced anabolic drive that carries functional and prognostic significance. The recent demonstration of overall beneficial effects of HRT in CHF may pave the way to slow the disease progression in patients with coexisting CHF and hormone deficiencies. The hypothesis is to identify a considerable subset of CHF patients also affected with hormone deficiency and to treat them with HRT.
Summary: Single or multiple HRT may in theory be performed in CHF. Such a novel approach may improve left ventricular architecture, function, and physical capacity as well as quality of life. Larger randomized, controlled trials are needed to confirm this working hypothesis.