Streamlined algorithms spur update to heart failure evaluation guidelines

The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) have jointly released an update to recommendations for the evaluation of left ventricular diastolic function using echocardiography imaging. The update was recently published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

The impetus behind the updated recommendations lies in the development of new and improved algorithms that incorporate fewer variables into the assessment of possible diastolic dysfunction, said lead author Sherif Nagueh, MD, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and colleagues.

“Proper noninvasive assessment of left ventricle diastolic function and accurate estimation of left ventricle filling pressures play an important role in the diagnosis of patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction, as well as guide timely therapy to treat patients with shortness of breath due to increased left ventricular filling pressures,” they wrote. “Our previous guideline document, while well-intentioned, included so many parameters that it was perceived as too complex. Our primary goal with this update was to simplify the approach and hopefully increase the usefulness of the guidelines in daily practice.”

The update helps to simplify the organizations’ existing recommendations guiding evaluations of possible heart failure, which were released in 2009.