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Heartbeat: Highlights from the issue
  1. Paulus Kirchhof,
  2. Catherine M Otto
  1. Correspondence to Professor Catherine M Otto, Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA; cmotto{at}u.washington.edu

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There are so many interesting articles in each issue of Heart that it is a challenge to pick just a few to highlight in Heartbeat. Some are mentioned here with several other articles you may want to read shown in the table of contents.

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) has favorable hemodynamic effects in heart failure patients but also increases the risk of ventricular arrhythmias, negating the potential benefits of intravenous administration of this therapy. In this issue of Heart, Prof Thireau (see page 833) and colleagues hypothesized that the combination of subcutaneous BNP and a selective beta 1-adrenergic blocker would “unmask” the beneficial effects of BNP by blocking the associated adverse adrenergic effects. This hypothesis was tested in a murine model of ischemic heart failure with results showing that combined therapy reduced fibrosis and hypertrophy and improved cardiac function in association with a decreased occurrence of …

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