Trial of Early Intensive HF Management Halted for Benefit

A “high-intensity-care” strategy based on early and rapid uptitration of guideline-directed meds improves postdischarge clinical outcomes for patients hospitalized with decompensated heart failure (HF), suggest topline results from a randomized trial.

The STRONG-HF study was halted early on recommendation from its data safety monitoring board after an interim analysis suggested the high-intensity-care strategy significantly cut risk of death or HF readmission compared to a standard-of-care approach.

The trial termination was announced today in a press release from one of its sponsors, The Heart Initiative, a nonprofit organization. STRONG-HF was also supported by Roche Diagnostics.

The early termination was based on interim data from the approximately 1000 patients, out of an estimated planned enrollment of 1800, who had been followed for at least 90 days. The study’s actual primary endpoint had been defined by death or HF readmission at 6 months.

The announcement did not include outcomes data or P values, or any other indication of the magnitude of benefit from the high-intensity-care approach.

Patients in STRONG-HF who had been assigned to a high-intensity-care strategy had been started in-hospital on a beta blocker, a renin-angiotensin system inhibitor (RASi), and a mineralocorticoid receptor blocker (MRA) with dosages uptitrated at least halfway by the time of discharge.

The meds were uptitrated fully within 2 weeks of discharge guided by clinical and biomarker assessments, especially natriuretic peptides, at frequent postdischarge visits, the press release states.

Patients conducted “safety visits 1 week after any uptitration and follow-up visits at 6 weeks and 3 months,” the announcement notes. “At each visit, patients were assessed by physical examination for congestion and blood tests, including NT-proBNP measurements.”

The “full STRONG-HF trial results” are scheduled for presentation November 7 at the American Heart Association annual scientific sessions, the announcement states.

STRONG-HF is sponsored by The Heart Initiative and Roche Diagnostics.

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