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Heart failure clinical factsheets

Information about the diagnosis, classification and pharmacological management of heart failure.

Approximately 480,000 Australians have heart failure and only 50 percent of patients diagnosed will chronic heart failure will be alive 5 years later.

These clinical factsheets provide health care professionals with information about the diagnosis, classification and pharmacological management of heart failure. 

They are based on current evidence and recommendations from the National Heart Foundation of Australia and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand: Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of heart failure in Australia 2018. 

Factsheet 1: Diagnosis and classification of heart failure (2019)

Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome with typical symptoms and signs that generally occur on exertion, but can also occur at rest (particularly when recumbent). It is secondary to an abnormality of cardiac structure or function that impairs the ability of the heart to fill with blood at normal pressure or eject blood sufficient to fulfill the needs of the metabolising organs.

The definition is complex, reflecting the disease state, and warrants expansion because it incorporates many key concepts related to heart failure.

This factsheet contains comprehensive information about the symptoms, signs, diagnosis and classification of heart failure:

  1. Diagnosis is clinical, based on signs and symptoms
  2. Following clinical diagnosis, heart failure may be classified according to left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)
For further information, please refer to section 3. Definition and classification of heart failure and section 5. Diagnosis and investigations of the clinical guidelines for heart failure.


Download the Factsheet (PDF)

Factsheet 2: Pharmacological management of chronic heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF) (2019)

This fact sheet provides information about the basics of pharmacological management of chronic HFrEF:

  • Commence initial treatment and uptitrate to maximum tolerated dose
  • Repeat echocardiogram in 3-6 months and alter therapy

This factsheet also provides guidance on common clinical issues and considerations and pharmacological recommendations including starting doses and target doses.

For further information, please refer to section 7.1 Pharmacological management of chronic heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction of the clinical guidelines for heart failure.


Download the Factsheet (PDF)

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