Recent studies revealed an exceedingly high mortality with diastolic heart failure that was previously regarded as relatively benign compared to systolic heart failure. Prominent risk factors for diastolic heart failure are increasing age, hypertension and diabetes. These risk factors are associated with coronary microvascular rarefaction and resultant decreased coronary flow reserve, thereby rendering the myocardium vulnerable to ischemia. We discuss the importance of angiogenic gene programming in preserving the coronary microvasculature, preserving cardiac function and altering disease course. Further, we discuss the possible utility of therapies that activate hypoxia inducible factor-1 in preventing rarefaction of the coronary microvasculature and maintaining cardiac diastolic function.
Keywords: Endothelial progenitor cell, angiogenesis, neovascularization, hypoxia inducible factor, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, microvasculature
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