Introduction: An imbalance in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is a central pathophysiologic mechanism in Heart Failure (HF) and has been a principal target of treatment in these patients. Traditional pharmacologic agents do not provide specific modulation of discrete arms of the ANS, while side effects may lead to poor tolerance. Technological advances have provided a series of invasive methods that may provide a focused effect on the ANS in selected patient groups. Renal denervation, initially targeted for patients with resistant hypertension, has given positive preliminary results in terms of heart structure and function. Baroreceptor stimulation also has ongoing research with respect to its efficacy and longer term effects in HF patients. Vagal nerve stimulation and spinal cord stimulation have limited data but represent novel treatments that target the hard to reach parasympathetic system.
Conclusion: The present review overviews the pathophysiologic basis, current preclinical and clinical data and future expectations of these promising treatments.
Keywords: Sympathetic nervous system, neuromodulation, renal denervation, baroreceptor stimulation, vagal nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation.
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