AIMS: In the PARADIGM-heart failure trial, sacubitril-valsartan demonstrated a reduction in heart failure admissions and reduced all-cause mortality in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Although real world data have shown similar benefits regarding efficacy and safety, there has been difficulty in achieving the target dose (TD). The factors preventing the achievement of TD remains unclear. This study assesses the tolerability, ability to achieve, and factors linked to attaining TD in a routine clinical population.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This is a retrospective single-centre review of patients switched from angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers to sacubitril-valsartan between May 2016 and August 2018. Baseline and follow-up clinical characteristics and biomarker profiles were collected. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to analyse predictors of achieving TD. Clinical response to sacubitril-valsartan was defined as a reduction in N terminal pro BNP of ≥30%, or an increase in left ventricular ejection fraction of ≥5% compared with baseline values. To date, a total of 322 patients (75% male patients) have been switched to sacubitril-valsartan. Those still in the titration phase were excluded (n = 25). Sacubitril-valsartan was not tolerated in 40 patients (12.4%). Those intolerant were older (73.4 years [68.3, 80.6] vs. 69.1 years [61.2, 76]; P = 0.003) and had worse renal function with estimated glomerular filtration rate (53.5 mL/min/1.72 m2 [36.8, 60.2] vs 60 mL/min/1.72 m2 [47, 77]; P ≤ 0.001). Of the remaining 257 patients, TD (97/103 mg BD) was achieved in 194 patients (75.5%), while 37 patients (11.4%) were maintained on 49/51 mg BD and 26 patients (8.1%) remained on 24/26 mg BD. Symptomatic hypotension (74.6%) was the main impediment to attaining TD, followed by renal deterioration (12.7%), and to a lesser extent hyperkalaemia and gastrointestinal symptoms (4.8% each). Diuretic dose decrease was achieved in 37.2% of patients, and this was the strongest independent predictor of achieving TD (odds ratio = 2.1; 95% confidence interval [1.16, 3.8]; P = 0.014). Responder status by N terminal pro BNP criterion was observed in 99 of 214 patients (46.3%) while 70 of 142 (49.3%) attained the left ventricular ejection fraction response status. Achieving this response was independently linked to achieving TD.
CONCLUSIONS: Sacubitril-valsartan was well tolerated. Achievement of TD was possible in the majority of the cohort and was linked to response metrics. Reduction in diuretic was required in a large percentage of the population and was the strongest predictor of attaining TD. Therefore, careful clinical attention to volume status assessment is essential to maximising the benefits of sacubitril-valsartan.