Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author’s final published version in World Journal of Cardiology, Volume 12, Issue 10, October 2020, Pages 501-512.

The published version is available at Copyright © Ullah et al.


BACKGROUND: The utility of novel oral soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulators (vericiguat and riociguat), in patients with reduced or preserved ejection fraction heart failure (HFrEF/HFpEF) is currently unclear.

AIM: To determine the efficacy and safety of sGC stimulators in HF patients.

METHODS: Multiple databases were searched to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Data on the safety and efficacy of sGC stimulators were compared using relative risk ratio (RR) on a random effect model.

RESULTS: Six RCTs, comprising 5604 patients (2801 in sGC stimulator group and 2803 placebo group) were included. The primary endpoint (a composite of cardiovascular mortality and first HF-related hospitalization) was significantly reduced in patients receiving sGC stimulators compared to placebo [RR 0.92, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.85-0.99, P = 0.02]. The incidence of total HF-related hospitalizations were also lower in sGC group (RR 0.91, 95%CI: 0.86-0.96, P = 0.0009), however, sGC stimulators had no impact on all-cause mortality (RR 0.96, 95%CI: 0.86-1.07, P = 0.45) or cardiovascular mortality (RR 0.94, 95%CI: 0.83-1.06, P = 0.29). The overall safety endpoint (a composite of hypotension and syncope) was also similar between the two groups (RR 1.50, 95%CI: 0.93-2.42, P = 0.10). By contrast, a stratified subgroup analysis adjusted by type of sGC stimulator and HF (vericiguat vs riociguat and HFrEF vs HFpEF) showed near identical rates for all safety and efficacy endpoints between the two groups at a mean follow-up of 19 wk. For the primary composite endpoint, the number needed to treat was 35, the number needed to harm was 44.

CONCLUSION: The use of vericiguat and riociguat in conjunction with standard HF therapy, shows no benefit in terms of decreasing HF-related hospitalizations or mortality.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

PubMed ID




Included in

Cardiology Commons