Effect of Ivabradine on Left Ventricular Diastolic Function, Exercise Tolerance and Quality of Life in Patients With Heart Failure: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Theresa Ruba Koroma, Sallieu Kabay Samura, Yuguo Cheng, Mengxiong Tang


Background: Ivabradine is a heart rate-lowering drug that selectively inhibits the funny (If) current of the sinoatrial node. It is currently recommended in patients with heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in sinus rhythm and a heart rate of ≥ 70 beats per minute (bpm) at rest. To investigate whether ivabradine has an effect on diastolic dysfunction, exercise tolerance and quality of life (QOL), we conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials for studies on the effect of ivabradine on left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction, exercise tolerance, QOL, readmission for worsening HF and mortality in both patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and HFrEF.

Results: Thirteen RCTs with 881 patients met the inclusion criteria. According to the pooled analysis, for the HFpEF subgroup, treatment with ivabradine resulted in a decrease in early diastolic mitral inflow to late diastolic flow ratio (E/A) (standardized mean difference (SMD): -0.53; 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.99, -0.07; P < 0.000) and increase in peak oxygen uptake during exercise (VO2) (SMD: 0.05; 95% CI: -0.35, 0.45; P < 0.00; I2 = 95.1%). Similar effect was seen in the HFrEF subgroup with decrease in E/A ratio (SMD: -0.33; 95% CI: -0.59, -0.06; P < 0.000) and early diastolic mitral inflow to annular velocity ratio (E/e’) (SMD: -1.01; 95% CI: -1.49, -0.54; P < 0.012). Ivabradine therapy increased peak VO2 and 6-min walk test (6MWT) in HFrEF patients (SMD: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.35, 1.32; P < 0.00; I2 = 97.5% and SMD: 1.11; 95% CI: 0.82, 1.41; P < 0.000, respectively). There was also significant reduction in Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) score (SMD: -0.68; 95% CI: -0.91, -0.45; P < 0.000). However, there was no significant difference in readmission for worsening HF and all-cause mortality between ivabradine and control (risk ratio (RR): 1.44; 95% CI: 0.73, 2.16; P < 0.148 and RR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.19, 1.33; P < 0.907, respectively).

Conclusions: Ivabradine therapy is associated with improved LV diastolic function, increases exercise tolerance and hence QOL, but it has no significant effect on readmission for worsening HF and all-cause mortality.

Cardiol Res. 2020;11(1):40-49
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/cr958


Ivabradine; Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction; Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction; Diastolic dysfunction; Exercise intolerance; Quality of life

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