Advanced chronic heart failure (ACHF) is the last phase in the evolution of heart failure and is characterized by high hospitalization and mortality rates and is refractory to medical therapy, therefore requiring more aggressive therapies, such as mechanical circulatory support or heart transplantation. Over the last years, the incidence of ACHF was continuously growing, together with the increase in population survival rates. Therefore, the early recognition of the transition to ACHF is of crucial importance in HF patients, which also helps in prognostication of such patients, since advanced therapeutic options are limited to selected patients and they also have some important risk implications. Echocardiography is the gold standard tool for the evaluation of patients with HF; moreover, the recent technological advances provided new structural and functional indices of the four cardiac chambers that showed to be comparable to advanced imaging or invasive hemodynamic parameters. This allows us to operate an accurate study of ACHF with first- and second-level echocardiographic techniques, which are now being integrated in daily clinical practice. The present review presents an overview of the currently available tools for the echocardiographic examination of patients with ACHF, with its advantages and limitations, based on the latest supporting evidences.
- 3D echocardiography
- Advanced heart failure
- Speckle tracking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine