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Canadian Cardiovascular Society consensus conference recommendations on heart failure 2006: Diagnosis and management

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J Malcolm O Arnold, MD FRCPC (Chair),1Peter Liu, MD FRCPC (Co-Chair),2Catherine Demers, MD FRCPC,3Paul Dorian, MD FRCPC,4Nadia Giannetti, MD FRCPC,5Haissam Haddad, MD FRCPC,6George A Heckman, MD FRCPC,3Jonathan G Howlett, MD FRCPC,7Andrew Ignaszewski, MD FRCPC,8David E Johnstone, MD FRCPC,7Philip Jong, MD FRCPC,2Robert S McKelvie, MD FRCPC,3Gordon W Moe, MD FRCPC,4John D Parker, MD FRCPC,9Vivek Rao, MD FRCSC,2Heather J Ross, MD FRCPC,10Errol J Sequeira, MD FCFP,11Anna M Svendsen, RN MS,7Koon Teo, MBBCh FRCPC,3Ross T Tsuyuki, PharmD FCSHP,12 andMichel White, MD FRCPC13


Heart failure remains a common diagnosis, especially in older individuals. It continues to be associated with significant morbidity and mortality, but major advances in both diagnosis and management have occurred and will continue to improve symptoms and other outcomes in patients. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society published its first consensus conference recommendations on the diagnosis and management of heart failure in 1994, followed by two brief updates, and reconvened this consensus conference to provide a comprehensive review of current knowledge and management strategies.

New clinical trial evidence and meta-analyses were critically reviewed by a multidisciplinary primary panel who developed both recommendations and practical tips, which were reviewed by a secondary panel. The resulting document is intended to provide practical advice for specialists, family physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others who are involved in the care of heart failure patients.

Management of heart failure begins with an accurate diagnosis, and requires rational combination drug therapy, individualization of care for each patient (based on their symptoms, clinical presentation and disease severity), appropriate mechanical interventions including revascularization and devices, collaborative efforts among health care professionals, and education and cooperation of the patient and their immediate caregivers. The goal is to translate best evidence-based therapies into clinical practice with a measureable impact on the health of heart failure patients in Canada.

Resource: Can J Cardiol. 2006 Jan; 22(1): 23–45.