Review articlesPharmacological treatment of chronic systolic heart failure: are we scraping the bottom of the barrel?Abate, Elena; Sartor, Riccardo; Ceconi, Claudio; Boffa, Giovanni MAuthor Information aDepartment of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy bUniversity of Ferrara and Cardiovascular Pathophysiology Research Center, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, IRCCS, Ferrara, Italy Received 9 October, 2009 Revised 12 January, 2010 Accepted 19 February, 2010 Correspondence to Elena Abate, MD, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua, via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padua, Italy Tel: +39 049 821 1844; fax: +39 049 876 1764; e-mail: [email protected] Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine: December 2010 - Volume 11 - Issue 12 - p 893-905 doi: 10.2459/JCM.0b013e328339d884 Buy Metrics Abstract Heart failure is a major health problem and its prevalence is growing, primarily as a consequence of the aging of the population. Recently, we have witnessed significant progress in reducing the mortality associated with chronic heart failure due to the introduction of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors, beta-blocking agents and the use of electrical devices. However, the prognosis of heart failure is still so disappointing that it remains the leading cause of death in developed countries. This grim record impels the search for new therapeutic strategies. The objective of this paper is to briefly review the results of some recent trials that have been put in place to test the effects of drugs that are deemed to be potentially capable of improving the prognosis of chronic systolic heart failure patients. Despite compelling theoretical premises, the results to date appear to be weak or even disappointing. © 2010 Italian Federation of Cardiology. All rights reserved.