Affiliation: Cardiology Department and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Athens General Hospital “G. Gennimatas”, Mesogeion 154, 11527, Athens, Greece.
Heart failure (HF) is a complex heterogeneous syndrome with immune, metabolic and neurohumoral mechanisms interacting and leading to gradual heart contractility impairment. From the first study-to correlate inflammation with HF, inflammation biomarkers have been the subject of intense inquiry in patients with various forms of HF. Chronic HF (CHF) is strongly associated with inflammation in terms of pathogenesis, progression, severity and prognosis. Inflammatory mediators participate in CHF pathophysiology in various ways like exerting direct impact on cardiac myocytes, fibroblasts and β-adrenergic receptors leading to hypertrophy, fibrosis and impaired cardiac contractility, respectively, or inducing apoptosis by stimulation of the proper genes. The anti-inflammatory effects of classical heart failure therapeutic strategies such as ACEI and b-blockers are rather conflicting. Whether novel immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory therapeutic approaches should be added to existing therapies in order to ensure additional benefit to HF patients is under investigation. In this review, we summarize the pathophysiological link between inflammatory processes and CHF, focusing on the role of novel and traditional inflammatory biomarkers and highlighting novel anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategies.