Progressive nature of heart failure and systems biology

George Louridas, Katerina Lourida


The progressive nature of heart failure (HF) is the predominant cause for the clinical course that the HF syndrome is taking. Systems biology methodology is of the utmost importance to explain and comprehend the build-in mechanisms of clinical adverse progression. Various heart diseases produce myocardial damage with subsequent left ventricular remodeling which is the principal underlying pathophysiological mechanism for the clinical progression of HF. The self-organized positive feedback stabilization mechanisms of left ventricular remodeling, adrenergic stimulation and activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and natriuretic peptide systems, are hierarchical adaptive processes. These adaptive processes are responsible for further left ventricular remodeling with subsequent clinical deterioration and for the emergence of clinical phenotypes. These mechanisms are counteracted with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and β-blockers in an attempt to improve the adverse clinical phenomena of HF progression in a new but clinically worse stabilization level. In this review our intention is to underline the progressive nature of the HF syndrome and to demonstrate the significance of ventricular remodeling and the role of self-organized positive feedback adaptive processes.

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