American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association share updated heart failure guidance

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) have collaborated on a new document designed to provide care teams with current, straightforward data and definitions related to the treatment of heart failure (HF).

The guidance, officially titled 2021 ACC/AHA Key Data Elements and Definitions for Heart Failure, can be read in full in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

It is an update to a similar document from 2005 and was intentionally written so that it could be applied to as many HF patients as possible.

“This document presents a clinical lexicon comprising data elements related to HF, without differentiation for chronic HF versus acute decompensated HF; inpatient versus outpatient; or medical management with or without palliative care, or hospice,” wrote Biykem Bozkurt, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, co-chair of the document’s writing committee, and colleagues. “Because HF is a chronic condition, and a patient can experience periodic acute decompensation, the writing committee considered data elements that are pertinent to the full range of care provided to these patients and intended to be useful for all care venues.”

The guidance covers a significant number of topics, including various HF risk factors, how to treat patients with a variety of cardiovascular conditions and what to look for when treating patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction are all discussed in great detail.

Bozkurt et al. also explored the various noninvasive and invasive imaging modalities that can be used to diagnose and treat HF. New text was also added that covers “data elements for invasive therapeutic procedures, device therapies, and percutaneous mechanical circulatory support devices.”

The full document is available here. The ACC also shared a list of key points on its website.