Acute and long-term effects of captopril on exercise cardiac performance and exercise capacity in congestive heart failure

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Abstract

Although many studies have shown that captopril (CPT) provides acute hemodynamic improvement in patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF) at rest, little information is available concerning exercise hemodynamic responses to CPT or the effect of this drug on exercise tolerance in CHF. Therefore, we evaluated the hemodynamic effects of CPT at rest and during upright bicycle exercise in 15 patients with stable CHF. CPT (25 to 50 mg) reduced both resting heart rate and mean arterial pressure (84 ± 11 to 78 ± 7 bpm, p < 0.025 and 85 ± 9 to 64 ± 8 mm Hg, p < 0.001). Concomitantly, left ventricular filling pressure dropped dramatically (26 ± 9 to 15 ± 7 mm Hg, p < 0.001), while cardiac and stroke indices rose (2.0 ± 0.5 to 2.5 ± 0.6 L/min/m2, p < 0.001, and 25 ± 8 to 33 ± 7 ml/m2, p < 0.001). Similar directional changes occurred during exercise, with heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and left ventricular filling pressure at maximum exercise being less (123 ± 15 to 115 ± 16 bpm, p < 0.01; 93 ± 17 to 86 ± 14 mm Hg, p < 0.05; and 35 ± 10 to 30 ± 11 mm Hg, p < 0.001, respectively) after CPT ingestion. Peak exercise cardiac index rose slightly (3.6 ± 0.7 to 3.9 ± 0.6 L/min/m2) but not significantly. Six patients followed long term on CPT underwent elective recatheterization after 3 months. In these, the beneficial hemodynamic changes seen acutely persisted or further improvement was noted, both at rest and during exercise. Most impressively, peak exercise cardiac index rose from 3.6 ± 0.7 to 4.6 ± 1.0 L/min/m2 (p < 0.05), and this was associated with an increase in exercise duration (8.0 ± 2.2 to 11.5 ± 1.4 minutes, p < 0.05) and exercise work load (332 ± 32 to 468 ± 52 kp-m/min, p < 0.05). These findings indicate that in patients with severe CHF, oral CPT provides markedly beneficial augmentation of cardiac function during activity as well as at rest; moreover, chronic CPT therapy substantially increases exercise capacity in this setting. © 1982.

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Topic, N., Kramer, B., & Massie, B. (1982). Acute and long-term effects of captopril on exercise cardiac performance and exercise capacity in congestive heart failure. American Heart Journal, 104(5 PART 2), 1172–1179. https://doi.org/10.1016/0002-8703(82)90047-3

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