Background: Advanced heart failure (HF) patients usually poorly tolerate guideline-directed HF medical therapy (GDMT) and suffer high rates of morbidity and mortality. The use of continuous inotropes in the outpatient settings is hampered by previous data showing excess morbidity. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of repetitive, intermittent, short-term intravenous milrinone therapy in advanced HF patients with an intention to introduce and up-titrate GDMT and improve functional class. Hypothesis: Repetitive, intermittent milrinone therapy may assist with the stabilization of advanced HF patients. Methods: Advanced HF patients treated with beta-blockers and implanted with defibrillators were initiated with repetitive, intermittent short-term intravenous milrinone therapy at our HF outpatient unit. Patients were prospectively followed with defibrillator interrogation, functional class assessment, B-natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels, and echocardiography parameters. Results: The cohort included 24 patients with a mean 330 ± 240 days of milrinone therapy exposure. Mean age was 73 ± 6 years with male predominance (96%). Following milrinone therapy, median BNP levels decreased significantly (882 [286−3768] to 631 [278−1378] pg/ml, p =.017) with a significant reduction in the number of patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III and IV (p =.012, 0.013) and an increase in number of patients on GDMT. Importantly, the number of total sustained ventricular tachycardia events and HF hospitalizations did not change. Conclusions: In this small cohort of advanced HF, repetitive, intermittent, short-term milrinone therapy was found to be safe and potentially efficacious.
- advanced heart failure