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ACC: Relaxin Beneficial in Acute Heart Failure

Last Updated: March 30, 2009.

In patients with acute heart failure, treatment with an intravenous infusion of relaxin -- a natural human peptide that affects multiple vascular control pathways -- may improve clinical outcomes, according to a report published online March 29 in the The Lancet to coincide with American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session held March 29 to 31 in Orlando, Fla.

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute heart failure, treatment with an intravenous infusion of relaxin -- a natural human peptide that affects multiple vascular control pathways -- may improve clinical outcomes, according to a report published online March 29 in the The Lancet to coincide with American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session held March 29 to 31 in Orlando, Fla.

John R. Teerlink, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues randomly assigned 234 patients to receive either a 48-hour intravenous infusion of placebo or relaxin at dosages of 10 μg/kg, 30 μg/kg, 100 μg/kg or 250 μg/kg per day.

Compared with placebo, the researchers found that relaxin at a dosage of 30 μg/kg was associated with moderate or marked improvements in dyspnea as assessed by the Likert scale (40 percent versus 23 percent). They also found that relaxin was associated with shorter median hospital stays (10.2 days versus 12 days) and a lower rate of cardiovascular death or readmission due to heart or renal failure at day 60 (2.6 percent versus 17.2 percent).

"Relaxin had an acceptable safety profile and no apparent adverse renal effects," the authors conclude. "On the basis of these results, a relaxin dose of 30 μg/kg per day has been selected for further assessment in a phase III study (RELAX-AHF-1) of intravenous relaxin in acute heart failure. If established in larger studies, the benefits of relaxin might represent an important advance in the treatment of patients with acute heart failure."

The study was supported by Corthera (USA); several authors disclosed financial relationships with Corthera.

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