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The Role of Ivabradine in Managing Symptomatic Patients with Chronic Coronary Syndromes: A Clinically Oriented Approach

Coronary angiography performed in 2012 showed non-obstructive lesions in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) and right coronary artery (RCA) (arrows). LCX left circumflex coronary artery

Angina is a significant contributor to disability and impairment in quality of life in patients with chronic coronary syndromes (CCS). An elevated heart rate (HR) may trigger myocardial ischemia by increasing oxygen consumption and decreasing the diastolic time, compromising the coronary flow. HR-lowering strategies offer symptom control and prevent cardiovascular events in subgroups of patients with CCS. However, the usual therapeutic approach to achieve the desired HR in patients with CCS can be challenging based on efficacy and tolerability. Guidelines usually propose B-Blockers and/ or non-dihydropyridine Calcium Channel Blockers (CCB) for angina patients with elevated HR. Nonetheless, there is no clear evidence of greater antianginal efficacy of this strategy versus an alternative HR-lowering agent. Ivabradine reduces the HR by blocking the If current in the sinoatrial node without affecting myocardial contractility or vascular tone. The magnitude of the HR reduction by ivabradine is proportional to the initial HR, which decreases the risk of significant bradycardia. Ivabradine increases the diastolic time and the coronary flow reserve to a greater extent than b-blockers.

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