New international guidelines for heart transplant candidates standardize patient care

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) announces the release of the first international guidelines for heart failure patient management, particularly prior to heart transplantation, published in this month's edition of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (September 2006). For the first time, comprehensive international guidelines will help bridge the gap where current principles fall short and provide guidance to practicing physicians and cardiologists around the world.

Heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood through the body. Based on statistical data from the National Heart Lung Blood Institute and other sources, it is estimated that at least 100 million people around the world suffer with heart failure with about 12 million new cases each year.

Over the past decade, advancements in patient care with ventricular assist and other implantable devices, stem cell implants, biomedical developments and improved pharmaceutical management, have had a dramatic impact on care for heart failure patients. Taking these and other advancements into consideration, the new guidelines underscore the optimal process for managing heart failure patients prior to considering transplantation.

"The new guidelines will enhance the effectiveness of patient care, optimize patient outcomes, and improve the overall cost of patient care by focusing resources on the most effective strategies," said Mariell Jessup, M.D., ISHLT task force chair and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Our goal is to reach cardiologists and other physicians around the globe who don't currently have resources available to help treat their patients suffering with advanced heart failure," said Edoardo Gronda, M.D., ISHLT task force chair and Director of Clinical Cardiology and Heart Failure Unit, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Milan, Italy. "In turn, we are working to

Contact: Lauren Mason
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation

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