The annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology (in Barcelona, 26–30 August) was a unique occasion for updating our knowledge on acute and advanced heart failure. At “Village 9” the sessions were focused on heart failure, with insights on pathophysiology and mechanisms, epidemiology, prognosis and outcomes, ventricular function and haemodynamics, drug treatments, etc. Also in some of the very popular “Hubs” the sessions were often touching intriguing themes such as “Can we teach heart failure drugs new tricks?”. Several pharmaceutical companies organised either satellite symposia or series tutorials to complement the general programme, and the daily agendas of the attendees were very full. In the field of advanced heart failure, a series of hands-on tutorials was organised by Orion Pharma on the use of inodilators. The three day programme included lectures by 14 European speakers (from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, Austria, Finland and Russia) on the use of inodilators for correcting haemodynamic dysfunction and ameliorating symptoms in patients with advanced heart failure. Their main conclusion was that the calcium sensitiser and potassium channel opener drug family can be considered potentially effective solutions to achieve inodilation.
Also the poster session was rich and stimulating. Of note, the first report of the RELEVANT-HF clinical trial on repetitive levosimendan in advanced refractory heart failure was presented by the group of Professor Fabrizio Oliva. They concluded that, in these patients, scheduled repeated levosimendan infusions resulted in a decrease in hospital admissions for worsening HF, expressed as proportion of days spent in hospital in the 6 months after start of planned treatment (compared to the 6 months before).
Finally, the investigator meeting of the LEODOR study (repetitive levosimendan infusions for patients with advanced chronic heart failure) was also held in Barcelona on occasion of the ESC congress. The study has just started and over 30 centres are currently enrolling.
Professor Gerhard Pölzl highlights Hospitalisation for the management of acute decompensation being a critical moment in the trajectory of heart failure (HF) and one that has gloomy prognostic implications for many patients.
There have been some recent achievements in the LEODOR trial including a new website to facilitate administration and communication and submission of a formal study protocol synopsis to the European Journal of Heart Failure.
If we had a way to reduce the risk of life-threatening complications after cardiac surgery would we use it? Of course we would. It is for reason that this blog post highlights the recent work of Dr. Qiang and colleagues. See the details here.
Professor Gerhard Pölzl reports primary results from the LION-HEART study in the management of advanced heart failure where among secondary endpoints, patients treated with levosimendan experienced a reduction in the rate of HF-related hospitalisation compared with placebo.
Professor Cynthia M Dougherty and colleagues outline an array of options for the treatment of advanced heart failure (HF) that create – quite reasonably – the impression that we are in a golden age of therapeutic possibilities for this difficult condition.