To evaluate evidence supporting the use of spironolactone in managing congestive heart failure.
Literature accessed through MEDLINE (January 1966–December 1999) and cross-referencing of selected articles. Search terms included spironolactone and heart failure.
Heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Through aldosterone antagonism, spironolactone may be an effective pharmacotherapeutic addition to patients not responding to standard drug therapy for heart failure.
Clinical trials have demonstrated that, in patients with heart failure, spironolactone improves laboratory indices, quality of life, and morbidity. Recently, spironolactone has been demonstrated to improve the survival of patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) III or IV heart failure.
Spironolactone use should be considered in patients with NYHA Class III or IV heart failure.