Korean Circ J.  2022 Mar;52(3):173-197. 10.4070/kcj.2021.0401.

Medical Management of Patients With Heart Failure and Reduced Ejection Fraction

  • 1University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA


Treatment options for patients with heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) have expanded considerably over the past few decades. Whereas neurohormonal modulation remains central to the management of patients with HFrEF, other pathways have been targeted with drugs that have novel mechanisms of action. The angiotensin receptorneprilysin inhibitors (ARNIs) which enhance levels of compensatory molecules such as the natriuretic peptides while simultaneously providing angiotensin receptor blockade have emerged as the preferred strategy for inhibiting the renin angiotensin system. Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors which were developed as hypoglycemic agents have been shown to improve outcomes in patients with HF regardless of their diabetic status. These agents along with beta blockers and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists are the core medical therapies for patients with HFrEF. Additional approaches using ivabradine to slow heart rate in patients with sinus rhythm, the hydralazine/isosorbide dinitrate combination to unload the heart, digoxin to provide inotropic support and vericiguat to augment cyclic guanosine monophosphate production have been shown in well-designed trials to have beneficial effects in the HFrEF population and are used as adjuncts to the core therapies in selected patients. This review provides an overview of the medical management of patients with HFrEF with focus on the major developments that have taken place in the field. It offers prospective of how these drugs should be employed in clinical practice and also a glimpse into some strategies that may prove to be useful in the future.


Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction; Angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitors; Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors; Beta blockers; Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists
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