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Physicians Update

 
Summer 2005: Transplantation

Heart Failure Treatment Revolutionized

06/01/2005

A combination of medical and device therapy has revolutionized treatment for patients with heart failure. “Today, 80 percent of potential candidates can avoid heart transplantation using medications and device therapies,” notes Gregg Fonarow, M.D., director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center.

Medications are always the first line of therapy—and successful strategies include the use of ACE inhibitors, aldosterone antagonists and the beta-blocker carvedilol. UCLA researchers were the first to demonstrate that, in addition to these medications, cholesterol-lowering statins may improve survival in heart failure. UCLA also pioneered the notion that preventatively implanting pacing devices—implantable defibrillators—reduces sudden death and prolongs life in appropriate heart failure patients when combined with medical therapy.





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