Therapeutic advances in the management of acute decompensated heart failure

Elena Laura Antohi, Andrew P. Ambrosy, Sean P. Collins, Ali Ahmed, Vlad Anton Iliescu, Gad Cotter, Peter S. Pang, Javed Butler, Ovidiu Chioncel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background:Acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) is the most common presenting phenotype of acute heart failure (AHF). The main goal of this article was to review the contemporary management strategies in these patients and to describe how future clinical trials may address unmet clinical needs.Areas of Uncertainty:The current pathophysiologic understanding of AHF is incomplete. The guideline recommendations for the management of ADHF are based only on algorithms provided by expert consensus guided by blood pressure and/or clinical signs of congestion or hypoperfusion. The lack of adequately conducted trials to address the unmet need for evidence therapy in AHF has not yet been surpassed, and at this time, there is no evidence-based strategy for targeted decongestive therapy to improve outcomes. The precise time point for initiation of guideline-directed medical therapies (GDMTs), as respect to moment of decompensation, is also unknown.Data Sources:The available data informing current management of patients with ADHF are based on randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and administrative databases.Therapeutic Advances:A major step-forward in the management of ADHF patients is recognizing congestion, either clinical or hemodynamic, as a major trigger for heart failure (HF) hospitalization and most important target for therapy. However, a strategy based exclusively on congestion is not sufficient, and at present, comprehensive assessment during hospitalization of cardiac and noncardiovascular substrate with identification of potential therapeutic targets represents "the corner-stone" of ADHF management. In the last years, substantial data have emerged to support the continuation of GDMTs during hospitalization for HF decompensation. Recently, several clinical trials raised hypothesis of "moving to the left" concept that argues for very early implementation of GDMTs as potential strategy to improve outcomes.Conclusions:The management of ADHF is still based on expert consensus documents. Further research is required to identify novel therapeutic targets, to establish the precise time point to initiate GDMTs, and to identify patients at risk of recurrent hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E222-E233
JournalAmerican journal of therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • congestion
  • heart failure
  • hospitalization
  • outcomes
  • therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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