Evaluation of the effects of sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 inhibition with empagliflozin on morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure and a preserved ejection fraction: rationale for and design of the EMPEROR-Preserved Trial

on behalf of the EMPEROR-Preserved Trial Committees and Investigators

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Background: The principal biological processes that characterize heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) are systemic inflammation, epicardial adipose tissue accumulation, coronary microcirculatory rarefaction, myocardial fibrosis and vascular stiffness; the resulting impairment of left ventricular and aortic distensibility (especially when accompanied by impaired glomerular function and sodium retention) causes increases in cardiac filling pressures and exertional dyspnoea despite the relative preservation of left ventricular ejection fraction. Independently of their actions on blood glucose, sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors exert a broad range of biological effects (including actions to inhibit cardiac inflammation and fibrosis, antagonize sodium retention and improve glomerular function) that can ameliorate the pathophysiological derangements in HFpEF. Such SGLT2 inhibitors exert favourable effects in experimental models of HFpEF and have been found in large-scale trials to reduce the risk for serious heart failure events in patients with type 2 diabetes, many of whom were retrospectively identified as having HFpEF. Study design: The EMPEROR-Preserved Trial is enrolling ≈5750 patients with HFpEF (ejection fraction >40%), with and without type 2 diabetes, who are randomized to receive placebo or empagliflozin 10 mg/day, which is added to all appropriate treatments for HFpEF and co-morbidities. Study aims: The primary endpoint is the time-to-first-event analysis of the combined risk for cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure. The trial will also evaluate the effects of empagliflozin on renal function, cardiovascular death,. all-cause mortality and recurrent hospitalization events, and will assess a wide range of biomarkers that reflect important pathophysiological mechanisms that may drive the evolution of HFpEF. The EMPEROR-Preserved Trial is well positioned to determine if empagliflozin can have a meaningful impact on the course of HFpEF, a disorder for which there are currently few therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1287
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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