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11 September 2023

New guidelines published for managing heart failure

Updated guidelines co-chaired by Professor Theresa McDonagh of King’s were published in August by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), which could change how practitioners manage patients with heart failure.

Heart failure

Professor Theresa McDonagh has co-chaired the latest Heart Failure Guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) following the publication of results from major new clinical trials. The new guidelines will aim to inform changes to the management of patients with heart failure.

Chronic heart failure is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump blood around the body as well as it should, usually because the heart has become too weak or stiff. Acute heart failure is life-threatening and requires urgent treatment; it can be the first manifestation of heart failure but is more often due to an acute deterioration of chronic heart failure.

The ESC publishes regular updates informed by the latest research for clinicians on best practice, including guidelines for diagnosing and treating acute and chronic heart. The last guidance was published in 2021.

As more than ten randomised controlled trials have since been published, the ESC released new, updated guidelines at its Congress at the end of August to ensure such research can inform patient management. The task force included Professor Theresa McDonagh, Consultant Cardiologist of King’s College Hospital and King’s College London.

Heart failure is a fast-moving area of research and exciting new trials are expanding the treatment options for patients. This focused update incorporates the latest evidence-based treatments into state-of-the-art management recommendations with the aim of improving the outcome of patients with heart failure.”

Professor Theresa McDonagh, Consultant Cardiologist of King’s College Hospital and King’s College London

The changes included recommending the use of sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors (a group of drugs used to treat diabetes and being investigated for a broader range of therapeutic applications) in patients with heart failure and a new strategy of oral medical therapy for treating patients hospitalised with acute heart failure. Both recommendations are aiming to reduce hospitalisation, readmission, and mortality rates.

The reviewed document provides updated guidelines for treating heart disease in cases of comorbidities (patients living with multiple, separate illnesses at the same time). Their report covers a range of comorbidities, for example recommending SGLT2 inhibitor treatments for heart failure in patients with chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.

Access the latest guidelines here

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Consultant Cardiologist