Cardiac graft denervation causes inadequate sinus tachycardia in patients after heart transplantation (HTX) which is associated with reduced survival. This study investigated the 5-year results of heart rate control with ivabradine or metoprolol succinate in patients after HTX.
This registry study analyzed 104 patients receiving either ivabradine (n = 50) or metoprolol succinate (n = 54) within 5 years after HTX. Analysis included patient characteristics, medication, echocardiographic features, cardiac catheterization data, cardiac biomarkers, heart rates, and post-transplant survival including causes of death.
Demographics and post-transplant medication revealed no significant differences except for ivabradine and metoprolol succinate use. At 5-year follow-up, patients with ivabradine had a significantly lower heart rate (73.3 bpm) compared to baseline (88.6 bpm; P < 0.01) and to metoprolol succinate (80.4 bpm; P < 0.01), a reduced left ventricular mass (154.8 g) compared to baseline (179.5 g; P < 0.01) and to metoprolol succinate (177.3 g; P < 0.01), a lower left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP; 12.0 mmHg) compared to baseline (15.5 mmHg; P < 0.01) and to metoprolol succinate (17.1 mmHg; P < 0.01), and a reduced NT-proBNP level (525.4 pg/ml) compared to baseline (3826.3 pg/ml; P < 0.01) and to metoprolol succinate (1038.9 pg/ml; P < 0.01). Five-year post-transplant survival was significantly better in patients with ivabradine (90.0%) versus metoprolol succinate (68.5%; P < 0.01).
Patients receiving ivabradine showed a superior heart rate reduction and a better left ventricular diastolic function along with an improved 5-year survival after HTX.