Heart failure remains a widespread commonly encountered clinical condition. It is responsible for increased
healthcare expenditure, driven by frequent and often prolonged hospital admissions associated with an increased mortality.
A clinically useful classification of the syndrome is, patients with left ventricular systolic impairment (Heart Failure
and reduced ejection fraction, HFREF) and patients with preserved left ventricular systolic function (HFPEF). The pharmacological
treatment for patients with HFREF has evolved over the last twenty five years, focusing on modulation of the
neurohormonal activation which represents a hallmark of this condition. This has led to the development of a stepwise
treatment algorithm predominately based on inhibition of the renin angiotensin aldosterone pathway and counteracting
sympathetic over-activation. In particular since the early trials in chronic heart failure (CHF) demonstrated a significant
mortality benefit with ACE-inhibitors, subsequent studies have been conducted in conjunction with these drugs. The rationale
being that it would be unethical to trial any new agent without the concomitant use of ACE-inhibitors.
The recent publication of the PARADIGM -HF study has challenged this convention by trialling a novel pharmacological
agent against an ACE-inhibitor in a landmark trial. The review sets out the current pharmacological treatment for patients
with heart failure and discusses the recent findings with this novel class of medication.