SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
MPE, M T et al. Heart Failure Society of South Africa (HeFSSA) perspective on the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2012 chronic heart failure guideline. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2013, vol.103, n.9, pp. 661-667. ISSN 2078-5135.
DISCLAIMER: This guideline does not override the health professional's responsibility to make appropriate decisions according to the circumstances of the patient. It is also the health professional's responsibility to verify the locally approved indications for the drugs and devices mentioned in this guideline. BACKGROUND: The South African Heart Association (SA Heart) is an affiliate of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). SA Heart endorses ESC treatment guidelines with modification to suit local circumstances. The Heart Failure Society of South Africa (HeFSSA) is a special interest group of SA Heart. This guideline has been compiled on behalf of the HeFSSA and is based on the ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure 2012. The focus is on heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HF-REF) (i.e. ejection fraction <50%). We have recommended interventions in symptomatic patients with HF-REF in general to clarify the 'grey area' between the ESC guidelines definition of REF (<50%) and the predefined ejection fraction used in randomised heart failure trials (<35%). OBJECTIVE: To highlight new changes in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure with particular emphasis on areas that are relevant to SA. CONCLUSIONS: Randomised clinical trials are a crucial, but not the only, guide in treating HF-REF patients. There always remain questions that are unanswered and groups of patients not studied, so prudent clinical decisions are required.