Novel rate control strategy with landiolol in patients with cardiac dysfunction and atrial fibrillation

While patients with acute heart failure often have tachycardia with atrial fibrillation, there have been no established medical tools that control tachycardia safely and definitely. Digoxin has been recommended as a first choice in the former guidelines, but it takes time to affect and has a risk of adverse events particularly for those with chronic kidney disease. Landiolol is a recently innovated ultra-short-acting beta-blocker with 251-fold β1/β2 selectivity, which was originally indicated only to control peri-operative supra-ventricular tachyarrhythmia by 2013 in Japan. We aimed to review how to use landiolol in patients with cardiac dysfunction and tachycardia due to atrial fibrillation. We reviewed recently conducted randomized control trials using landiolol, recently updated guidelines, as well as current practical use of landiolol. Japan landiolol vs. Digoxin (J-Land) study demonstrated that landiolol was more effective to control tachycardia than digoxin in atrial fibrillation patients with left ventricular dysfunction in 2013. Given the result, the revised Japanese heart failure guideline recommends landiolol for rate control during atrial fibrillation in acute heart failure patients as Class IIa with evidence level B. Currently in Japan, landiolol is used for rate control, even in patients with advanced heart failure receiving continuous infusion of inotropes. The clinical use of landiolol in patients with cardiac dysfunction and tachycardia due to atrial fibrillation is increasing. Further studies are warranted to investigate the implication of faster and safer rate control using landiolol.