[A failed improvement in pulmonary function and exercise capacity with carvedilol in congestive heart failure despite an excellent effect on left ventricular function].Cardiologia. 1998 Feb; 43(2):181-7.C
This study was aimed at investigating in chronic heart failure (CHF) the effects that beta-blockade with carvedilol may have on lung function, and their relationship with left ventricular (LV) performance and peak exercise oxygen uptake (VO2p). CHF causes disturbances in ventilation and pulmonary gas transfer (stress failure of alveolar-capillary membrane) that participate in limiting VO2p. Carvedilol improves LV function and not VO2p. Twenty-one NYHA functional class II-III patients were randomized (2 to 1) to carvedilol (25 mg bid., 14 patients) or placebo (7 patients) for 6 months. Rest forced expiratory volume (FEV1), vital capacity (VC), total lung capacity (TLC), carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO), its alveolar-capillary membrane component (DM), pulmonary venous and transmitral flows (for monitoring changes in LV end-diastolic pressure, EDP), LV diastolic (EDD) and systolic (ESD) dimensions, stroke volume (SV), ejection fraction (EF), fiber shortening velocity (VCF) were measured at baseline and at 3 and 6 months. VO2p, peak ratio of dead space to tidal volume (VD/VTp), ventilatory equivalent for CO2 production (VE/VCO2), VO2 at anaerobic threshold (VO2at) were also determined. FEV1, VC, TLC, DLCO, DM were impaired in CHF compared to 14 volunteers, and did not vary with treatment. Carvedilol reduced EDP, EDD, ESD, and increased EF, SV, VCF, without affecting VO2p, VO2at, VD/VTp, VE/VCO2, at 3 and 6 months. Placebo was ineffective. In CHF, carvedilol exerts neutral effects on ventilation and pulmonary gas transfer and ameliorates LV function at rest. This proves that antifailure treatment may not be similarly effective on cardiac and pulmonary function; and does not contradict the possibility that persistence of lung impairment may contribute to lack of improvement in exercise performance with carvedilol.