Acute heart failure (suspected or confirmed): Initial diagnosis and subsequent evaluation with traditional and novel technologies


Acute or worsening heart failure is a common reason for hospitalization which carries a high mortality. Prompt diagnosis or exclusion of HF and its cause and precipitating factors can improve the quality and efficiency of care, shorten hospital stay, reduce readmission and improve prognosis. While the clinician remains central to reaching a clinical diagnosis of heart failure, the use of traditional and novel diagnostic technologies will improve the specificity and sensitivity of the diagnosis of heart failure diagnosis and provide insights into its pathophysiogical profile and help tailor therapy to individual patient need. Chest X-rays and electrocardiograms are generally available; echocardiograms less so. Novel technologies include both invasive and non-invasive methods to detect increases in intrathoracic fluid, pulmonary congestion, left ventricular filling pressures, cardiac output and vascular function. However, few of these technologies have been subjected to randomised controlled trials investigating their ability to improve patient management.

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Shoaib, A. , Mabote, T. , Zuhair, M. , Kassianides, X. and Cleland, J. (2013) Acute heart failure (suspected or confirmed): Initial diagnosis and subsequent evaluation with traditional and novel technologies. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, 3, 290-300. doi: 10.4236/wjcd.2013.33046.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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