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Review Article

The Emerging Role of Sodium-glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitors in Heart Failure

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 7 ]


Mauro Gitto, Alessandro Villaschi, Massimo Federici, Gianluigi Condorelli and Giulio G. Stefanini*   Pages 481 - 493 ( 13 )


Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are a relatively novel drug class that most cardiologists are becoming familiar with. By contrasting glucose reabsorption in the proximal convoluted tubule of the nephron, SGLT2 inhibition results in glycosuria with improved glycemic control. Although originally introduced as anti-diabetic medications, the cardiovascular effects of SGLT2i have progressively emerged, leading them to become one of the four pillars for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) according to the 2021 guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology. Also, two recent randomized trials have demonstrated SGLT2i as the first compounds with proven prognostic impact in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), setting a milestone in the treatment for this condition. While the exact pathogenic mechanisms mediating the substantial reduction in cardiovascular death and heart failure (HF) hospitalizations are still controversial, there is growing clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of SGLT2i in various subsets of patients with HF. As known, heart failure is a complex and heterogeneous clinical syndrome with a magnitude of phenotypes and a variety of underlying hemodynamic and physiological aspects which cannot be fully incorporated into the traditional left ventricular ejection fraction based classification adopted in clinical trials. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the cardiovascular benefits and indications of SGLT2i across different HF patterns and to highlight current gaps in knowledge that should be addressed by future research.


SGLT2 inhibitors, HFrEF, HFpEF, acute heart failure, cardiac remodeling, fluid overload.


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