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

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Gian Francesco Mureddu *
Stefano Nistri
Anna Maria Gori
Pompilio Faggiano
Biagio Fimiani
Antonio Maggi
Gianfranco Misuraca
Massimo Uguccioni
Luigi Tavazzi
Giovanni Battista Zito
(*) Corresponding Author:
Gian Francesco Mureddu |


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 Cardiologists’ 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, cardiologists’ awareness of preclinical HF and consistency between physician’s perceived risk of HF and the patient’s classification 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. Cardiologists’ 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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Author Biographies

Gian Francesco Mureddu, San Giovanni-Addolorata Hospital, Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Rome

Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri, Florence

Pompilio Faggiano, Cardiology Unit, Spedali Civili, Brescia

Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri, Florence;

Gianfranco Misuraca, Hospital SS. Annunziata,, Cardiology Department, Cosenza

Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri, Florence



Massimo Uguccioni, S. Camilllo Forlanini Hospital, Division of Cardiology, Rome

Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri, Florence