Awareness and appropriateness of the management of preclinical heart failure in outpatient clinics in Italy: Insights from the VASTISSIMO study - EValuation of the AppropriateneSs of The preclInical phase (Stage A and Stage B) of Heart FaIlure Management in Outpatient Clinics in Italy
A key factor in cardiovascular prevention is the detection and appropriate management of preclinical heart failure (HF), but information on the subject is scarce. We designed VASTISSIMO as a prospective, observational study to investigate Outpatient Clinic Cardiologistsâ€™ skills in detecting and managing preclinical HF in Italy. Quality scores were used to assess the appropriateness of clinical management according to guideline recommendations. The feasibility of making a diagnosis of preclinical HF in a cardiology outpatient clinical setting, cardiologistsâ€™ awareness of preclinical HF and consistency between physicianâ€™s perceived risk of HF and the patientâ€™s classiï¬cation into the preclinical HF Stages A [(SAHF) or B (SBHF)] have been investigated. Consistency was defined acceptable if the concordance between perceived risk and actual risk was >70%. Out of 3322 patients included in the study data necessary for identifying SBHF were collected in 2106 (63.4%). Many SBHF patients had their risk underestimated: 16.2% of those with previous acute myocardial infarction (AMI), 23.1% with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) at ECG/echocardiography, 30% with systolic/diastolic dysfunction, and 14.3% with valve disease. Cardiologistsâ€™ awareness of preclinical HF in the outpatient setting should be improved. This is a critical area of cardiovascular prevention that requires attention to improve good clinical practice and adherence to guidelines.
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