Nutritional assessment and support of the patient with acute heart failure

Satyam Sarma, Mihai Gheorghiade

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose of review A significant number of patients hospitalized with heart failure are malnourished. Depletion of micronutrients, which is known to occur in heart failure for a variety of reasons, may contribute to myocardial abnormalities noted in heart failure. In this review, we focus on nutritional supplementation strategies that might improve myocardial performance and, as a consequence, decrease mortality and morbidity in these patients. Recent findings The available data suggest that micronutrient and macronutrient supplementation may play a role in improving the myocardial metabolic abnormalities noted in heart failure. A recent trial of omega-3 fatty acid macronutrient supplementation showed a modest decrease in mortality and hospitalizations when used in patients with New York Heart Association class II-IV heart failure. Summary Recommendations for nutritional support in patients with heart failure are difficult to make due to a lack of large randomized trials. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, and micronutrients such as thiamine, coenzyme Q-10 and carnitine has shown promise in several studies. Since the data is not conclusive, large trials are needed to address whether these positive findings are reproducible in a wider subset of patients. In addition, these trials should study the combination of different micronutrients and macronutrients since heart failure patients are rarely deficient in just one micronutrient or macronutrient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • Cardiac cachexia
  • Carnitine
  • Nutrition in heart failure
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Thiamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Nutritional assessment and support of the patient with acute heart failure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this