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Innovation in coronary artery disease and heart failure: clinical benefits of pure heart rate reduction with ivabradine


Address for correspondence: Emmanuel Canet, Institut de Recherches Internationales Servier (IRIS), 6 place de Pleiades, Courbevoie, 92415 Cedex, France.


The link between elevated heart rate and cardiovascular events is established in healthy individuals and in patients with cardiovascular disease. The new agent, ivabradine, specifically and selectively inhibits the If current, with the sole action of heart rate reduction, with no impact on any other cardiac parameters. The benefits of “pure” heart rate reduction with ivabradine have been the focus of one of the largest clinical development programs ever performed, involving >20,000 individuals. Ivabradine has anti-ischemic and antianginal efficacy in monotherapy, as well as in combination with other antianginals, such as beta-blockers, and is safe and well tolerated. Two major morbidity–mortality trials, BEAUTIFUL and SHIFT, showed that heart rate reduction with ivabradine dramatically improves prognosis in patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction, symptomatic angina, or chronic heart failure. The development of ivabradine represents a clear innovation in the management of cardiovascular disease.