Introduction: Heart failure (HF) is a clinical syndrome that is secondary to an abnormality of cardiac structure or function. These clinical practice guidelines focus on the diagnosis and management of HF with recommendations that have been graded on the strength of evidence and the likely absolute benefit versus harm. Additional considerations are presented as practice points.
- Blood pressure and lipid lowering decrease the risk of developing HF. Sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors decrease the risk of HF hospitalisation in patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- An echocardiogram is recommended if HF is suspected or newly diagnosed.
- If an echocardiogram cannot be arranged in a timely fashion, measurement of plasma B-type natriuretic peptides improves diagnostic accuracy.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, β-blockers and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists improve outcomes in patients with HF associated with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Additional treatment options in selected patients with persistent HF associated with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction include switching the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor to an angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor; ivabradine; implantable cardioverter defibrillators; cardiac resynchronisation therapy; and atrial fibrillation ablation.
- Multidisciplinary HF disease management facilitates the implementation of evidence-based HF therapies. Clinicians should also consider models of care that optimise medication titration (eg, nurse-led titration).
Changes in management as a result of the guideline: These guidelines have been designed to facilitate the systematic integration of recommendations into HF care. This should include ongoing audit and feedback systems integrated into work practices in order to improve the quality of care and outcomes of patients with HF.
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