June 2020


Perhaps no other human ailment has been impelled by so much of research in the contemporary times as Heart failure has been recently. Paradoxically however, Heart failure had also been one of the most neglected research subject, especially in the last century. It is only in the present millennium that rapid scientific breakthroughs have yielded wonderful therapies for this refractory disease. Deliberate bloodletting and leeches were utilized for Heart failure treatment for centuries before the era of modern medicine. In the early 20th century, Heart failure was treated with Southey’s tubes, which were sharp 14-gauge needles about 3″ long, with perforations on the sides, inserted into swollen legs, thus draining the excess fluid out of the body. In the decades before the 1980s, the only available therapies for heart failure were bed rest, inactivity and fluid restriction. The pharmacological treatment modalities were digitalis (William Withering had discovered Foxglove digitalis in1785) and drugs promoting enhanced urine formation.