What Is New in Heart Failure Management in 2017? Update on ACC/AHA Heart Failure Guidelines

  • Biykem Bozkurt
Heart Failure (HJ Eisen, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Heart Failure


Purpose of Review

The goal of this paper is to provide a summary of the new recommendations in the most recent 2017 ACC/AHA/HFSA Focused Update of the 2013 ACCF/AHA Guideline for the Management of Heart Failure: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Heart Failure Society of America. The intent is to provide the background and the supporting evidence for the recommendations and to provide practical guidance for management strategies in treatment of heart failure patients.

Recent Findings

In the 2017 ACC/AHA/HFSA Focused Update of HF guidelines, important additions include new information on biomarkers, specifically on the topics of the diagnostic, prognostic role of natriuretic peptides in heart failure, and the role of natriuretic peptides in screening in patients high risk for HF and prevention of HF. There are important recommendations for treatment of patients with HF with reduced EF (HFrEF), including the beneficial role of angiotensin receptor blocker and neprilysin inhibition (ARNI) treatment in reducing outcomes including mortality, ivabradine in reducing heart failure hospitalizations in stable HFrEF patients with sinus rhythm and heart rate ≥ 70 bpm despite β-blockers. In patients with HF with preserved EF (HFpEF), though there are no studies demonstrating survival benefit, potential benefit with aldosterone antagonism in reducing HF hospitalizations is noted. In treatment of comorbidities, optimization of blood pressure control to less than 130 mmHg is recommended in hypertensive patients to prevent HF or in patients with hypertension and HFrEF or HFpEF. In addition to recognition on the potential role of treatment of iron deficiency anemia to improve symptoms and functional capacity, caution against use of adaptive servo-ventilation in patients with HFrEF and central sleep apnea and against use of erythropoietin stimulating agents in patients with HFrEF is provided.


There are new treatment strategies that are associated with significant improvements in mortality and other outcomes in patients with HF. Successful management of HF requires recognition of indications, contraindications, benefits, safety, and risk of these new therapies. In addition to incorporation of these new treatment strategies, it is critical to focus also on patient education, care coordination, identification of goals of care, monitoring, management of comorbidities, and individualization of therapies. New treatment modalities increase the choices for treatment and provide the opportunity to implement individualized treatment strategies for our patients.


Heart failure guidelines Biomarkers Comorbidities ARNI Ivabradine 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Biykem Bozkurt declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Care Line Executive, DeBakey VA Medical CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine at Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Cardiovascular Research InstituteHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Winters Center for Heart Failure ResearchBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  5. 5.MEDVAMC, Medical Care LineHoustonUSA

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