Pharmacogenetics to guide cardiovascular drug therapy

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2021 Sep;18(9):649-665. doi: 10.1038/s41569-021-00549-w. Epub 2021 May 5.


Over the past decade, pharmacogenetic testing has emerged in clinical practice to guide selected cardiovascular therapies. The most common implementation in practice is CYP2C19 genotyping to predict clopidogrel response and assist in selecting antiplatelet therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention. Additional examples include genotyping to guide warfarin dosing and statin prescribing. Increasing evidence exists on outcomes with genotype-guided cardiovascular therapies from multiple randomized controlled trials and observational studies. Pharmacogenetic evidence is accumulating for additional cardiovascular medications. However, data for many of these medications are not yet sufficient to support the use of genotyping for drug prescribing. Ultimately, pharmacogenetics might provide a means to individualize drug regimens for complex diseases such as heart failure, in which the treatment armamentarium includes a growing list of medications shown to reduce morbidity and mortality. However, sophisticated analytical approaches are likely to be necessary to dissect the genetic underpinnings of responses to drug combinations. In this Review, we examine the evidence supporting pharmacogenetic testing in cardiovascular medicine, including that available from several clinical trials. In addition, we describe guidelines that support the use of cardiovascular pharmacogenetics, provide examples of clinical implementation of genotype-guided cardiovascular therapies and discuss opportunities for future growth of the field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenetics*


  • Cardiovascular Agents