studies have indicated that patients with an acute myocardial infarction have marked activation of all neurohumoral systems on admission to the hospital. This activation begins to subside within the first 72 hours so that by 7-10 days, all plasma neurohormones have returned to normal. The only documented exceptions were found to occur in patients with left ventricular dysfunction and overt heart failure, where both plasma renin activity and atrial natriuretic peptide were increased, and in patients with left ventricular dysfunction but no overt heart failure, where only atrial natriuretic peptide was increased. Although these studies suggest that neurohumoral activation rarely occurs at the time of hospital discharge, they were small and may have missed an important subgroup of patients with persistent neurohumoral activation. In the Survival and Ventricular Enlargement (SAVE) study, 522 patients had plasma neurohumoral levels measured at a mean of 12 days postinfarction. All SAVE patients had left ventricular dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction ≤40%), but no overt heart failure. In this group of patients, all neurohumoral levels (plasma renin activity, norepinephrine, arginine vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide) were found to be increased compared with age-matched control subjects. These results indicate that, in fact, a sub-group of patients without overt heart failure has persistent neurohumoral activation at the time of hospital discharge postinfarction, and that this activation involves several neurohumoral systems. Since patients with persistent neurohumoral activation postinfarction are likely those most at risk of developing complications and the ones most likely to benefit from pharmacologic interventions blunting the effects of neurohumoral activation, measurement of predischarge neurohumoral levels may be useful.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine