Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) have emerged as a class of medications with positive cardiovascular (CV) effects across a spectrum of patients with and without type 2 diabetes (T2D). In heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, there is clear evidence that SGLT2i reduce hospitalisations and mortality regardless of the presence of diabetes, and they are now recognised as the fourth pillar of pharmacological management. Recent trial data also indicate promising effects in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. In patients with T2D and atherosclerotic CV diseases, multiple CV outcomes trials have shown reductions in major adverse CV events. Meta-analysis of these trials also shows lower rates of incident and recurrent atrial fibrillation with SGLT2i. Concerns regarding utilisation in patients with chronic kidney disease have been allayed in trials showing SGLT2i in fact have renoprotective effects. Questions still remain regarding the safety of SGLT2i in the acute heart failure setting and immediately post myocardial infarction, as well as in patients with more advanced stages of chronic kidney disease. Furthermore, studies are underway evaluating SGLT2i in patients with heart valve disease, where positive effects on left ventricular remodelling may, for example, improve functional mitral regurgitation. In this review, we summarise the available evidence of recent CV outcomes trials of SGLT2i, focusing particularly on the application of these agents across various CV diseases. We detail evidence to support increased utilisation of these drugs, which in many cases will reduce mortality and improve quality of life in patients routinely encountered by the CV specialist physician.
Gaurav S Gulsin, Matthew P M Graham-Brown, Iain B Squire, Melanie J Davies, Gerry P McCann