Heart failure remains the main cause of death in children with heart disease. In USA and Europe hospital
mortality of children with heart failure is about 7% of children, nearly twice as high as in adults. In this review a group of
authors report about their experience with beta-blockers in childhood heart failure. Most of them start to treat children
with severe heart failure at a time - 20 years ago - when beta blockers seem to be contraindicated in this situation. The
physicians and their patients and/or parents all are aware of the risk of this decision. However, unproven medical therapies
for heart failure are the most important therapeutical dilemma in pediatric cardiology. The authors carefully observed a
highly selected group of patients with the highest risk to die and had the patience to wait for the longtime follow up.
Today - based upon this experience –we know that beta blockers are safe and may save the lives of many children with
heart disease all over the world. Together with young colleagues who enthusiastically support this idea the authors now
intend to break down the “wall of ignorance” for this promising therapy in pediatric cardiology.
Keywords: Beta-blockers, childhood, duchenne, heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sudden death.
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