OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether short-term treatment with perhexiline improves cardiac energetics, left ventricular function, and symptoms of heart failure by altering cardiac substrate utilization.
BACKGROUND: Perhexiline improves exercise capacity and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in patients with heart failure (HF). (31)P cardiac magnetic resonance spectroscopy can be used to quantify the myocardial phosphocreatine/adenosine triphosphate ratio. Because improvement of HF syndrome can improve cardiac energetics secondarily, we investigated the effects of short-term perhexiline therapy.
METHODS: Patients with systolic HF of nonischemic etiology (n = 50, 62 ± 1.8 years of age, New York Heart Association functional class II to IV, LVEF: 27.0 ± 1.44%) were randomized to receive perhexiline 200 mg or placebo for 1 month in a double-blind fashion. Clinical assessment, echocardiography, and (31)P cardiac magnetic resonance spectroscopy were performed at baseline and after 1 month. A substudy of 22 patients also underwent cross-heart blood sampling at completion of the study to quantify metabolite utilization.
RESULTS: Perhexiline therapy was associated with a 30% increase in the phosphocreatine/adenosine triphosphate ratio (from 1.16 ± 0.39 to 1.51 ± 0.51; p < 0.001) versus a 3% decrease with placebo (from 1.36 ± 0.31 to 1.34 ± 0.31; p = 0.37). Perhexiline therapy also led to an improvement in New York Heart Association functional class compared with placebo (p = 0.036). Short-term perhexiline therapy did not change LVEF. Cross-heart measures of cardiac substrate uptake and respiratory exchange ratio (which reflects the ratio of substrates used) did not differ between patients who received perhexiline versus placebo.
CONCLUSIONS: Perhexiline improves cardiac energetics and symptom status with no evidence of altered cardiac substrate utilization. No change in LVEF is seen at this early stage. (Metabolic Manipulation in Chronic Heart Failure; NCT00841139).
- heart failure
- magnetic resonance spectroscopy
- myocardial metabolism