In cardiovascular pharmacotherapy, the main focus is now on statins (HMG-CoA-reductas e inhibitors) because
of their antihyperlipidaemic and antiatherogenic effect. They are suggested to be benefitial also in senile dementia,
stroke and osteoporosis and they can reduce incidence of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with cardioverter-de-
fibrillator. In chronic heart failure, statins should be used with caution since reduced cholesterol levels relate to
impaired survival. As an alternative to statins and fibrates, niacin therapy may be considered. ACE inhibitors are of
proven benefit for patients with left ventricular dysfunction after acute myocardial infarction; however, in long-term
treatment, their protective activity is not superior to that of -blockers, diuretics and clonidine. Ca-channel antagonists
slightly increase the incidence of cardiovascular complications but reduce the incidence of stroke in high-risk patients.
Biventricular pacing has been used with success in patients with severe heart failure and conduction disturbances,
and the first permanent artificial ventricle was implanted to a patient with irreversible terminal heart failure in summer
2000. Cardiospecific troponin I may be an uninvasive marker of a procoagulant status indicating e.g. graft failure
after cardiac transplantation; T-cadherin belongs to the cell-adhesion molecules and has a role in maintenance of
cellular contacts which are critical for the vessel wall architecture. Etamoxir, originally developed for the treatment
of diabetes II, has recently been shown to be a potential novel drug for heart failure. Routine use of nitric oxide after
congenital heart surgery lessens the risk of pulmonary hypertensive crises.
statins, niacin, biventricular pacing, nitric oxide, troponin I, T-cadherin, etamoxir, progress in