The guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure (HF) published in 2005 by the European and American Association recognize the great importance of two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography in the evaluation of patients with HF. However, the focus of both documents is on the capability of echo to identify the structural abnormalities of myocardium, heart valves, or pericardium responsible for the development of HF, whereas few suggestions are given on how echo information should be used to best treat HF patients. To reach this goal, two basic conditions have to be fulfilled. The first one is that echocardiographists know which are the main clinical needs that the echo examination can help to address: (i) assessing the aetiology of HF, (ii) characterizing the haemodynamic profile, and (iii) estimating the short-medium-term risk of HF patients. The second is that clinicians/HF specialists who have the responsibility of the management of HF patients become familiar with the interpretation of the echo examination, which is not so easy given the large use by the echo community of new techniques and the increasing number of new echo parameters proposed in the literature.
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine