Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 349–357

Acute heart failure syndromes: Potential strategies to improve post-discharge outcomes


  • Anne K. Chung
  • Peter S. Pang
  • Gregg C. Fonarow
    • Division of CardiologyNorthwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

DOI: 10.1007/s11936-008-0055-4

Cite this article as:
Chung, A.K., Pang, P.S., Fonarow, G.C. et al. Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med (2008) 10: 349. doi:10.1007/s11936-008-0055-4

Opinion statement

Hospitalization for acute heart failure syndromes (AHFS) is a significant negative predictor of prognosis. Although patients’ presenting symptoms generally improve throughout hospitalization in response to therapy, post-discharge event rates, defined as rehospitalization and/or mortality, remain unacceptably high. In the past decade, many lifesaving therapies for heart failure, such as β-blockers, aldosterone antagonists, and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), have been defined. Hospitalization presents a unique opportunity to implement these and other lifesaving therapies. However, these opportunities are often missed, perhaps because the traditional focus of hospitalization has been on symptom relief, not improvement of post-discharge outcomes. Although many therapies are now available, each needs to be tailored to each patient based on a proper assessment (eg, revascularization for those with severe coronary artery disease, CRT for those with wide QRS). Thorough cardiac assessment combined with tailored implementation may improve post-discharge outcomes. New strategies are needed to improve uptake of current best-evidence therapies to decrease the morbidity and mortality of AHFS.

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© Current Medicine Group LLC 2008