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The Beat:
A Bryan Heart Blog

The Beat is a monthly blog from Bryan Heart cardiologists to keep you informed on trending topics, advancements and news in heart care.

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To refer a patient to a Bryan Heart cardiologist or surgeon, call 402-483-3333.

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The Latest Treatments for Congestive Heart Failure 

Written by Bryan Heart cardiologist Steven Krueger, MD

Congestive heart failure is a common and increasing problem. The symptoms of increasing shortness of breath and weakness due to the heart's inability to pump enough blood forward can be disabling and life-threatening for patients.

Current Congestive Heart Failure Treatments

For many years, the therapy we use to treat congestive heart failure has been standardized.

There are two classes of drugs:

  • ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)
    These are drugs that end with April such as lisinopril or tan such as valsartan. They are well-tolerated and well-established
  • Beta blockers
    Their name primarily ends in 'lol' such as metoprolol, carvedilol and bisoprolol

ACE inhibitors, ARB and beta blockers improve survival in heart failure somewhere between 30% and 60%. Bryan Heart is extensively involved in clinical trials and conducted a majority of the original research on these drugs.

New Congestive Heart Failure Treatments

Two important new drugs have been released. These two new drugs are:

Entresto or LCZ696

  • Released for the treatment of weak heart muscles; being researches for treatment of stiff heart muscle
  • Used instead of the ACE and ARB's medications
  • Shown to be superior in terms of preventing hospitalization and improving survival compared to the ACE inhibitors
  • Will have an important role in the treatment of heart failure as we go forward


  • A drug that slows the heart rate
  • Decreases the need for hospitalization in patients who have a fast heart rate
  • Use this drug to slow heart rate

These two new drugs are for the treatment of heart failure will have a significant role in selected patients with congestive heart failure in the future.

Bryan Heart is committed to staying at the forefront of congestive heart failure research, treatments and medicine to ensure we provide our community with the best heart care possible. If you have questions related to congestive heart failure or would like to refer a patient, please call 402-483-3333. 

krueger steven md

About Steven Krueger, MD

Steven Krueger, MD, is a cardiologist at Bryan Heart. Krueger is a graduate of The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine and completed his residency at Stanford University Hospital. He is certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine.

View Dr. Krueger's physician profile.


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