Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) antagonists have emerged as an effective therapy for patients with diseases as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other chronic systemic inflammatory diseases. In the last years, there has been a growing interest in the role that inflammatory cytokines, which sustain the pathogenesis of these diseases, plays in regulating cardiac structure and function, particularly in the progression of chronic heart failure. In fact there is an increase of anti-TNF alpha levels in advanced heart failure but the treatment with anti-TNF alpha has been shown to worsen the prognosis of heart failure in randomized controlled trials. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and anti-TNF alpha therapy seems to be beneficial on the risk of cardiovascular disease. In Crohn's disease the increased risk of cardiovascular disease is controversial and therefore it is impossible to demonstrate an effect in reduction of the risk; however, heart failure in patients treated with anti-TNF alpha, despite in a small proportion, has been observed. On the basis of this observation, anti-TNF alpha therapy is contraindicated in patients with Crohn's disease and III-IV New York Heart Association heart failure class.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||European Journal of Internal Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine