Improved understanding of the pathophysiologic course of heart failure has led to many advances in pharmacologic therapy. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors represent the first effort at targeting neurohormonal activation in chronic heart failure. More. recently, p-adrenergic receptor antagonists have been shown effective in blocking chronic sympathetic nervous system activation. The roles of digoxln and the newer, vasoselective calcium channel blockers in heart failure have been better defined. Other agents targeting the neurohormonal system are under investigation. These include angiotensinreceptor antagonists, aidosterone inhibitors, and endothelin antagonists, Experience with phosphodiesterase inhibitors and adrenergic agents has confirmed the importance of neurohormonal activation in progression of heart failure. Despite angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, diuretic, and digoxin therapy, mortality in heart failure remains high. Careful manipulation of the neurohormonal response to heart failure holds promise for altering the course of the disease

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