The Effects of β
-Blockade on Oxidative Metabolism and the Metabolic Cost of Ventricular Work in Patients With Left Ventricular Dysfunction
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BACKGROUND: The mechanism for the beneficial effect of beta-blocker therapy in patients with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is unclear, but it may relate to an energy-sparing effect that results in improved cardiac efficiency. C-11 acetate kinetics, measured using positron-emission tomography (PET), are a proven noninvasive marker of oxidative metabolism and myocardial oxygen consumption (MVO(2)). This approach can be used to measure the work-metabolic index, which is a noninvasive estimate of cardiac efficiency. METHODS AND RESULTS: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of metoprolol on oxidative metabolism and the work-metabolic index in patients with LV dysfunction. Forty patients (29 with ischemic and 11 with nonischemic heart disease; LV ejection fraction <40%) were randomized to receive metoprolol or placebo in a treatment protocol of titration plus 3 months of stable therapy. Seven patients were not included in analysis because of withdrawal from the study, incomplete follow-up, or nonanalyzable PET data. The rate of oxidative metabolism (k) was measured using C-11-acetate PET, and stoke volume index (SVI) was measured using echocardiography. The work-metabolic index was calculated as follows: (systolic blood pressure x SVI x heart rate)/k. No significant change in oxidative metabolism occurred with placebo (k=0.061+/-0.022 to 0.054+/-0.012 per minute). Metoprolol reduced oxidative metabolism (k=0.062+/-0. 024 to 0.045+/-0.015 per minute; P:=0.002). The work-metabolic index did not change with placebo (from 5.29+/-2.46 x 10(6) to 5.14+/-2. 06 x 10(6) mm Hg. mL/m(2)), but it increased with metoprolol (from 5. 31+/-2.15 x 10(6) to 7.08+/-2.36 x 10(6) mm Hg. mL/m(2); P:<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Selective beta-blocker therapy with metoprolol leads to a reduction in oxidative metabolism and an improvement in cardiac efficiency in patients with LV dysfunction. It is likely that this energy-sparing effect contributes to the clinical benefits observed with beta-blocker therapy in this patient population.
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