Valvular Heart Disease in Heart Failure

Giuseppe Rosano


Structural valvular heart disease may be the cause of heart failure or may worsen the clinical status of patients with heart failure. Heart failure may also develop in patients treated with valve surgery. Patients with heart failure with valvular heart disease are at increased risk of events including sudden cardiac death. Before considering intervention (surgical or percutaneous) all patients should receive appropriate medical and device therapy taking into account that vasodilators must be used with caution in patients with severe aortic stenosis. Numerous percutaneous and/or hybrid procedures have been introduced in the past few years and they are changing the management of valvular heart disease. In patients with heart failure and valvular heart disease, either primary or functional, the whole process of decision-making should be staged through a comprehensive evaluation of the risk– benefit ratio of different treatment strategies and should be made by a multidisciplinary ‘heart team’ with a particular expertise in valvular heart disease. The heart team should include heart failure cardiologists, cardiac surgeons/structural valve interventionists, imaging specialists, anaesthetists, geriatricians and intensive care specialists. This article will review recent developments and distill practical guidance in the management of this important heart failure co-morbidity.


Heart Valve disease; Heart failure; Congenital heart disease; Cardiovascular imaging; Echocardiography; CMR; PET; Cardiac CT; Guidelines

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