A study built on ambulatory PA monitoring
The results “also provide more proof for the concept of ambulatory hemodynamic monitoring” in patients with heart failure to monitor their status, she added. The study enrolled only patients who had already received a CardioMEMS implant as part of their routine care. This device allows for frequent, noninvasive monitoring of PA pressures. Researchers collected PA pressure data from patients twice daily for the entire 13-week study.
The EMBRACE HF (Empagliflozin Impact on Hemodynamics in Patients With Heart Failure) study enrolled patients with established heart failure, a CardioMEMS implant, and New York Heart Association class II-IV symptoms at any of eight U.S. centers. Patients averaged about 65 years old, and slightly more than half had class III disease, which denotes marked limitation of physical activity.
Despite the brief treatment period, patients who received empagliflozin showed other evidence of benefit including a trend toward improved quality of life scores, reduced levels of two different forms of brain natriuretic peptide, and significant weight loss, compared with controls, that averaged 2.4 kg.
The mechanism by which empagliflozin and other drugs in its class might lower PA filling pressures is unclear, but Dr. Kosiborod stressed that the consistent level of loop diuretic use during the study seems to rule out a diuretic effect from the SGLT2 inhibitor as having a role. A pulmonary vasculature effect is “much more likely,” perhaps mediated through modified endothelial function and vasodilation, he suggested.
EMBRACE HF was funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, the company that markets empagliflozin (Jardiance) along with Eli Lilly. Dr. Kosiborod has received research support and honoraria from Boehringer Ingelheim, and he has received honoraria from several other companies. Dr. Stevenson had no disclosures.