Metabolic support for the heart: complementary therapy for heart failure?

Ward A. Heggermont, Anna-Pia Papageorgiou, Stephane Heymans*, Marc van Bilsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

61 Citations (Web of Science)


The failing heart has an increased metabolic demand and at the same time suffers from impaired energy efficiency, which is a detrimental combination. Therefore, therapies targeting the energy-deprived failing heart and rewiring cardiac metabolism are of great potential, but are lacking in daily clinical practice. Metabolic impairment in heart failure patients has been well characterized for patients with reduced ejection fraction, and is coming of age in patients with 'preserved' ejection fraction. Targeting cardiomyocyte metabolism in heart failure could complement current heart failure treatments that do improve cardiovascular haemodynamics, but not the energetic status of the heart. In this review, we discuss the hallmarks of normal cardiac metabolism, typical metabolic disturbances in heart failure, and past and present therapeutic targets that impact on cardiac metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1420-1429
JournalEuropean journal of heart failure
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Heart failure
  • Cardiac metabolism
  • Metabolic therapy
  • Foetal switch
  • Energy starvation

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