Background: The echocardiographic substudy of the Vasodilator-Heart Failure Trial III (V-HeFT III) aimed to determine if felodipine treatment in patients with heart failure who were taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor had a favorable effect on left ventricular (LV) structure and function. Earlier V-HeFT trials showed that hydralazine-isosorbide dinitrate improved ejection fraction (EF) and survival, whereas enalapril achieved greater survival with smaller increases in EF. Would the combination of a potent vasodilator and enalapril produce greater improvements in function and survival? Methods and Results: Doppler-echocardiographic data were collected from 260 males with heart failure who were randomized to felodipine or a placebo. Mean intrasubject differences between baseline, at 3 months, and at 12 months were compared. Intersite and intrareader reproducibilities were measured from duplicate recordings and readings. At 3 months, no changes in ultrasound variables from baseline occurred in either group. At 12 months, felodipine patients achieved greater increases in EF, shortening of LV end- systolic length, and increases in stroke volume index. Reproducibility coefficients of variation were 7.4% (EF), 6.0% (end-diastolic length), and 13.0% (stroke volume index). Conclusions: The echocardiographic substudy showed that felodipine, added to heart failure therapy, increased EF, shortened end-systolic length, and increased stroke volume index. The changes were small and confirmed that reproducibility from multiple laboratories can be coordinated into a useful research tool.
- Left ventricular emptying
- V-HeFT III