The efficacy and safety of soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators in patients with heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been investigated the benefits of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulators in the treatment of heart failure, but a comprehensive evaluation is lacking. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral sGC stimulators (vericiguat and riociguat) in patients with heart failure.


Studies were searched and screened in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library. Eligible RCTs were included that reported mortality, the change of EuroQol Group 5-Dmensional Self-report Questionnaire (EQ-5D) US index, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), or serious adverse events (SAEs). Relative risk or weight mean difference (WMD) was estimated using fixed effect model or random effect model. Analysis of sensitivity and publication bias was conducted.


Five trials with a total of 1200 patients were included. sGC stimulators had no impact on the mortality (1.25; 95% confidence interval 0.50–3.11) and significantly improved EQ-5D US index (0.04; 95% confidence interval 0.020–0.05). Furthermore, in comparison with control group, NT-proBNP was statistically decreased in riociguat group (−0.78; 95% confidence interval −1.01 to −0.47), but not in vericiguat group (0.04, 95% confidence interval −0.18 to 0.25). There were not obverse differences in SAEs between sGC stimulators and control groups (0.90; 95% confidence interval 0.72–1.12).


Our meta-analysis suggests that sGC stimulators could improve the quality of life in patients with heart failure with good tolerance and safety, but their long-term benefits need to be observed in the future. sGC stimulators are likely to be promising add-on strategies for the treatment of heart failure.

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