The Sympathetic Nervous System and Heart Failure

David Y. Zhang, Allen S. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Heart failure (HF) is a syndrome characterized by upregulation of the sympathetic nervous system and abnormal responsiveness of the parasympathetic nervous system. Studies in the 1980s and 1990s demonstrated that inhibition of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors improved symptoms and mortality in HF resulting from systolic dysfunction, thus providing a framework to consider the use of β-blockers for HF therapy, contrary to the prevailing wisdom of the time. Against this backdrop, this article reviews the contemporary understanding of the sympathetic nervous system and the failing heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalCardiology Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart failure
  • Neurohormone
  • Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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