In order to evaluate the effect of placebo treatment in congestive heart failure, we retrospectively studied 24 patients with moderately severe congestive heart failure who participated in heart failure treatment trials performed over the past 10 years in the Ohio State University Heart Failure Research Laboratory. Placebo-treated patients from 4 placebo-controlled trials comprised the placebo treatment group (n = 15), while one natural course-controlled trial provided patients for the non-placebo control group (n = 9). Changes in symptoms, left ventricular function and exercise duration were assessed following an 8-week course of therapy. Chronic placebo therapy resulted in an 81-second improvement in exercise duration which was statistically significant when compared to pretreatment baseline and to the duration achieved by the nonplacebo control group. Clinically, functional class improved significantly by 27% above baseline only for the placebo treatment group. Indices of left ventricular function did not change for either group. The salient feature of this study is that the placebo treatment effect, while believed to exist in congestive heart failure, has never been demonstrated in a manner which controlled for the natural course and variability of the disease process. The operative components of the placebo effect remain unknown, and further investigation will be necessary to elucidate the underlying mechanisms involved. However, the importance of this phenomenon lies not only with the response to and effects of placebo therapy but also in the role that the placebo effect plays in what is generally presumed to be the predominant responses, effects and benefits of active drug therapy.
Carl V. Leier, MD, Division of Cardiology, The Ohio State University Hospitals, 669 Means Hall, 1654 Upham Drive, Columbus, OH 43210 (USA)
Received: August 10, 1992
Accepted: August 24, 1992
Published online: November 14, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 9
Cardiology (International Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Pharmacology)
Vol. 81, No. 2-3, Year 1992 (Cover Date: 1992)
Journal Editor: Borer J.S. (New York, N.Y.)
ISSN: 0008–6312 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9751 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CRD
Copyright / Drug Dosage
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.