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Latest HF guidelines to tackle “epidemic of the 21st century”

Heart Failure 2016 Congress News

Piotr Ponikowski, Centre for Heart Disease, Medical University Wroclaw, Poland

The new ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure – Overview; 21 May, 11:00–12:30; London

The key issues facing heart failure clinicians today, and all the latest developments in the condition’s diagnosis and management, will be reflected in the latest version of the new ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure, published today.

Piotr Ponikowski (Centre for Heart Disease, Medical University Wroclaw, Poland), who chaired the guidelines Task Force with Adriaan Voors (University Medical Center, Groningen, the Netherlands), said that heath failure is a “key problem”.

Describing it as “the epidemic of the 21st century”, he told Heart Failure Congress News that, considering all the clinical trial data that has been published since the previous ESC heart failure guidelines in 2012, a new version was necessary.

Prof. Ponikowski explained that the HFA worked closely with the ESC Committee for Practice Guidelines to develop the recommendations, following closely the ESC’s rules and regulations, which are designed to avoid biases and conflicts of interest.

He said that, first of all, a task force of leading experts in each area of heart failure, and representing each European region, was brought together to discuss all the existing evidence on the diagnosis and management of this crucial disease, over several meetings. A US expert was also invited, and joined the Task Force.

Once the first draft of the guidelines had been completed, the recommendations were put out for review, under the coordination of Gerasimos Filippatos (Attikon University Hospital, Greece) and John McMurray (University of Glasgow, the UK), which resulted in more than 200 pages of comments.

Each comment was considered in turn, and following four rounds of revision, the final version of the guidelines was ready.

The next question was how best to present them. “Typically, guidelines are published and presented at the ESC Congress,” said Prof. Ponikowski, “but as these are guidelines are intended to be a joint project by the ESC and the HFA, they will be presented and published at Heart Failure 2016.”

The committee decided that the best way to present the guidelines would be to have an initial inaugural session on the first morning of the Congress, which would offer a summary of the most important recommendations. At the same time, the guidelines will be published in parallel in the European Heart Journal and the European Journal of Heart Failure.

The scientific committee of the Congress then agreed on which sections of the guidelines should be presented in more detail. As Prof. Ponikowski noted: “You can’t really present the details in one 1.5-hour session.”

He continued: “The guidelines are an extensive document, with a lot of details, so this is why we decided to focus on detailed aspects, and present these in separate sessions.”

To those ends, there will be symposia focusing on acute heart failure, co-morbidities, arrhythmias and devices, and chronic heart failure, spread across each day of Heart Failure 2016.

Prof. Ponikowski said: “The idea is to give people, first, an overview, a kind of snapshot, followed by a detailed presentation of the key aspects…and then everybody can follow what he or she is interested in.”

To find out more about the heart failure guidelines, see tomorrow’s issue of the Heart Failure Congress News for a review of this afternoon’s session on the recommendations for acute heart failure, as well as a preview of tomorrow’s symposium on the impact and management of co-morbidities in heart failure.

The new ESC Guidelines @ Heart Failure 2016

  • Overview; Saturday 21 May, 11:00–12:30; London
  • Focus on acute heart failure; Saturday 21 May, 16:00–17:30; London
  • Focus on co-morbidities; Sunday 22 May, 11:00–12:30; London
  • Focus on arrhythmias and devices; Monday 23 May, 11:00–12:30; London
  • Focus on chronic heart failure; Tuesday 24 May, 08:30–10:00; Paris


View the session programme and access the resources on SP&P