Heart failure (HF) is a major problem worldwide, but its pathogenesis remains unclear. Apoptosis or programmed cell death is thought to play a crucial role in its progression. While primarily thought to be a method for cardiomyocyte loss, provocative newer data suggest that the apoptotic cell is not inevitably committed to death. Apoptosis might be one of the meta-stable transition states, like the hibernating myocardium, that may be reversible with appropriate therapy. The cell with activated apoptotic machinery is likely to contribute to reversible systolic dysfunction while awaiting its ultimate fate. We will briefly review some of the data to support such a concept. If proven correct, this may change our future preventive and therapeutic strategies. Methods to reverse apoptosis, thus might help restore systolic function and reverse remodeling or even prevent progression of heart failure.
- Heart failure