Heart rate reduction after heart transplantation with beta-blocker versus the selective If channel antagonist ivabradine.Transplantation. 2007 Oct 27; 84(8):988-96.T
Graft denervation in heart transplant recipients causes sinus tachycardia, occasionally requiring pharmacologic heart rate reduction. The If channel antagonist ivabradine has not been compared to beta-blocker after heart transplantation. Heart rate control, tolerability, short-term safety, and effects on exercise capacity were studied consecutively with an established heart rate-reducing drug (metoprolol succinate) compared to a novel agent (ivabradine) in heart transplant recipients.
In 25 heart transplant recipients, heart rate, exercise capacity, and patient preference were assessed under no medication (baseline) and after consecutive 8-week treatment periods under metoprolol and ivabradine.
Drug discontinuation following side effects occurred in 5 patients (metoprolol: 4, ivabradine: 1); per-protocol analysis was performed on 20 patients completing both consecutive treatment periods. Mean heart rate was reduced from baseline (96.5+/-7.0 bpm) to 84.4+/-8.8 bpm on beta-blocker (P=0.0004 vs. baseline) and to 76.2+/-8.9 bpm with ivabradine (P=0.0001 vs. baseline and P=0.003 vs. beta-blocker). Exercise capacity by spiroergometry was not altered by either drug. Relevant pharmacokinetic interaction with immunosuppressants was not seen under ivabradine; safety laboratory values were unchanged. Mild adverse effects were noted in 45% of patients during beta-blocker and 20% during ivabradine treatment. Questionnaire analysis demonstrated patient preference for heart rate reduction with ivabradine.
Heart rate reduction with ivabradine is effective and potentially better tolerated than beta-blocker therapy in heart transplant recipients. Although the prognostic role of heart rate after HTX is unknown, ivabradine may offer relevant symptomatic benefit, especially in cases of beta-blocker intolerance.