ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Heart failure – keeping step with the progress


Chronic heart failure continues to represent a major problem for the healthcare systems worldwide, because of high prevalence and impact on patients’ quality of life. Between May 25-28, 2018, in Vienna, Austria, took place the European Congress of Heart Failure and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, organized by the European Society of Cardiology. The congress was a forum of exchanging expertise in diagnosis and treatment of heart failure, and also an opportunity to present the latest progresses regarding the management of this pathology. It seems that an integrated, multidisciplinary team approach is the future for heart failure management. This team should include internists, cardiologists, general practitioners, and nurses. The new President of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology is from a Balkan country, Prof. Petar M. Seferovic, from the Belgrade University Medical Center, Serbia. In one of his presentations, Prof. Seferovic highlighted that the treatment of chronic heart failure should explore new frontiers. Recently, there is much interest in established antidiabetic drugs to treat cardiovascular complications of diabetes. Introduction of sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors in the late 1990s was a major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes complications. These drugs are the only antidiabetic drugs with good results in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, demonstrated by several large randomized controlled trials, such as EMPA-REG (the first study to demonstrate a significant reduction in both cardiovascular mortality and heart failure-related hospitalization in patients treated with empaglifozin, a SGLT2 inhibitor). SGLT2 inhibitors are now recommended by some guidelines for the prevention of heart failure and associated mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. The international registry REPORT HF, presented in Vienna, enrolled more than 18,000 patients from 44 countries across North America (NA), Central and South America (CSA), Western (WE) and Eastern Europe (EE), the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa (EMA), South East Asia (SEA) and the Western Pacific (WP), under the study co-chairs, Prof. Gerasimos Filippatos (Greece) and Prof. Mihai Gheorghiade (USA). Inter-regional differences in the hospital entry point, comorbidities and precipitants have been observed. Ischemia was a common precipitant in SEA, WP and EMA, whereas non-adherence to diet and medication was more common in NA. There have been also observed differences regarding the treatment, especially in time to initial intravenous therapy. Patients in NA have significantly longer time to first therapy, compared with other regions; this may impact the symptoms, because the sooner the IV therapies are delivered, the sooner symptoms will improve. There are differences regarding the implementation of international heart failure guidelines, which may influence the patients’ outcomes. Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Vienna BioCenter have studied the first systems for heart regeneration following complex heart attacks in mammals. In vivo neonatal models showed that, after a heart attack, mice underwent total repair of cardiac injury. This type of repair had been encountered previously in fish, but not in mammals. The researchers set up now genetic systems to identify the molecular signals that mediate this regeneration of the heart. Biotechnologies may become the future of the heart failure treatment.

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Diaconu C. Heart failure – keeping step with the progress. Arch Balk Med Union, 2018, 53(2):177-1178. DOI 10.31688/ABMU.2018.53.2.177