Description: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence released its first clinical guideline on heart failure in 2003. This synopsis describes the update of that guideline, which was released in August 2010 and discusses the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of heart failure.
Methods: Guideline developers considered clinical evidence, health economic analyses, clinical expert opinion, and patient views. Systematic literature searches were performed, and an original decision model assessed the cost-effectiveness of serial measurement of serum natriuretic peptide to monitor patients with chronic heart failure.
Recommendations: First, this guideline update describes the role of serum natriuretic peptide measurement, echocardiography, and specialist assessment in the diagnosis of heart failure. Second, it presents a pathway for pharmacologic treatment, rehabilitation, and pacing therapy (including implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization therapy) for patients with heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction and patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction. Finally, it explains the recommendation to monitor patients with heart failure by using serial measurement of serum natriuretic peptide.