Background: The comparative tolerability, efficacy, and safety of bisoprolol and carvedilol have not been established in Japanese patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Methods and Results: The CIBIS-J trial is a multicenter, open-label, non-inferiority randomized controlled trial of bisoprolol vs. carvedilol in 217 patients with HFrEF (EF ≤40%). The primary endpoint was tolerability, defined as reaching and maintaining the maximum maintenance dose (bisoprolol 5 mg/day or carvedilol 20 mg/day) during 48 weeks of treatment. The primary endpoint was achieved in 41.4% of patients in bisoprolol (n=111) and 42.5% in carvedilol (n=106) groups. The non-inferiority of tolerability of bisoprolol compared with carvedilol was not supported, however, neither β-blocker was superior with regard to tolerability. Heart rate (HR) decreased in both groups and its decrease from baseline was significantly greater in the bisoprolol group (20.3 vs. 15.4 beats/min at 24 week, P<0.05). Plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels decreased in both groups and the decrease was significantly greater in the carvedilol group (12.4 vs. 39.0 % at 24 weeks, P<0.05). Conclusions: There were no significant differences between bisoprolol and carvedilol in the tolerability of target doses in Japanese HFrEF patients. The clinical efficacy and safety were also similar despite the greater reduction in HR by bisoprolol and plasma BNP by carvedilol.
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