[Chronic left heart ventricle failure and inotropic stimulation]

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1995 Jan 30;115(3):360-4.
[Article in Norwegian]


Congestive left heart failure can be treated using three main strategies: change preload to optimize the Frank-Starling relationship, decrease after-load to reduce external work and increase cardiac contractility by inotropic stimulation. The third option is reviewed in this article, which discusses the pharmacological and clinical effects of different inotropic drugs as known in 1994. It is concluded that digitalis should be considered apart from other inotropic drugs. Even when in sinus rhythm, digitalis seems reasonable as an adjuvans to after-load reduction and diuretics. Chronic use of other inotropic drugs for congestive left heart failure is not recommended.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Disease
  • Digitalis Glycosides / therapeutic use
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Contraction / drug effects*
  • Nitrates / therapeutic use
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / drug therapy*


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Digitalis Glycosides
  • Diuretics
  • Nitrates
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors