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European Society of Cardiology announces a focused update of the guidelines for Device Therapy in Heart Failure

Embargoed for release: Sunday, 29 August 2010 at 1000hrs

Stockholm, Sweden; 29 August 2010: The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) today announces a focused update of its Clinical Practice Guidelines covering Device Therapy in Heart Failure. This is the first time that current ESC guidelines have been updated, reflecting the pace of research in this field and the importance of recently published evidence. The update is the result of collaboration between ESC Heart Failure Association (HFA) and European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), and will be formally presented at the annual ESC Congress in Stockholm on 29 August during the Clinical Practice Guidelines session in lecture room Stockholm, Zone K starting at 0830.

The update focuses on the use of devices for the treatment of heart failure, with an emphasis on Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT). Professor Kenneth Dickstein from Norway and Professor Panos Vardas from Greece were Co-Chairs of the Task Force responsible for developing the original guidelines, and were the natural choices to lead the new Task Force, which was formed of experts drawn equally from the HFA and the EHRA.

“This focused update to the guidelines provides recommendations for the use of devices to treat heart failure and includes the indications in conditions such as atrial fibrillation and those situations in which patients require pacemaker implantation,” says Professor Vardas. “A primary objective was to close some of the gaps in evidence that were apparent when the original guidelines were published.”

The changes made in the guidelines take account of:

  • Recently published evidence from clinical trials
  • New developments in device technology and performance
  • More extensive  understanding of treatment options and responses

The updated guidelines represent a fresh approach to analysing clinical trial outcomes. “In several areas we used a modified methodology to review the outcomes of clinical trials, with an emphasis on the cohort actually recruited for the trial rather than a strict interpretation of the protocol inclusion criteria,” says Professor Dickstein. “This increases the likelihood that the recommendations made are valid for the target patient population. This process impacts on the class of recommendations made and the determination of levels of evidence for therapy for specific patient populations.”

Practitioners that will be using the new guidelines, as well as journalists, are offered the opportunity to have an open discussion and Q&A with Professor Dickstein and Professor Vardas, and several members of the Task Force. A ‘Meet the Guidelines Task Force’ session takes place on Tuesday 31 August in lecture room Moscow, Zone A starting at 1030.

The updated Device Therapy in Heart Failure guidelines can be downloaded from the ESC website at



This press release accompanies both a presentation and an ESC press conference given at the ESC Congress 2010. The press release has been written and/or edited by the ESC from information provided by the investigator and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology. The content of the press release has been approved by the investigator.

Notes to editor

About guidelines
ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines are scientifically recognised worldwide as providing practicing physicians with the best possible recommendations on diagnosis, treatment and management of specific topics in cardiology medicine. Guidelines are created and edited under the umbrella of the ESC Board and the Committee for Practice Guidelines (CPG), who form a Task Force of appropriate experts from the ESC Associations, Working Groups, Councils, and National Societies, and from other bodies when required. They are the result of consensus amongst the Task Force appointed to prepare them, and they are peer-reviewed in a thorough and rigorous process that ensures accuracy, best-practice and relevance. Guidelines are available in a variety of printed and electronic media and in multiple formats including full documents, pocket guides and summaries.

About the European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 62,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.
About ESC Congress 2010
ESC Congress 2010 will take place from 28 August to 1 September at the Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm. Information on the scientific programme is available at More information on ESC Congress 2010 is available from the ESC's press office at