The following question refers to Section 7.6 of the 2022 AHA/ACC/HFSA Guideline for the Management of Heart Failure.
The question is asked by premedical student and CardioNerds Intern Pacey Wetstein, answered first by Baylor College of Medicine Cardiology Fellow and CardioNerds AmbassadorDr. Jamal Mahar, and then by expert facultyDr. Nancy Sweitzer.
Dr. Sweitzer is Professor of Medicine, Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the Department of Medicine, and Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine. She is the editor-in-chief of Circulation: Heart Failure. Dr. Sweitzer is a faculty mentor for this Decipher the HF Guidelines series.
TheDecipher the Guidelines: 2022 AHA / ACC / HFSA Guideline for The Management of Heart Failureseries was developed by the CardioNerds and created in collaboration with the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America. It was created by 30 trainees spanning college through advanced fellowship under the leadership of CardioNerds CofoundersDr. Amit GoyalandDr. Dan Ambinder, with mentorship fromDr. Anu Lala,Dr. Robert Mentz, andDr. Nancy Sweitzer. We thank Dr. Judy Bezanson and Dr. Elliott Antman for tremendous guidance.
Enjoy this Circulation 2022 Paths to Discovery article to learn about the CardioNerds story, mission, and values.
Mr. Flo Zin is a 64-year-old man who comes to discuss persistent lower extremity edema and dyspnea with mild exertion. He takes amlodipine for hypertension but has no other known comorbidities. In the clinic, his heart rate is 52 bpm and blood pressure is 120/70 mmHg. Physical exam reveals mildly elevated jugular venous pulsations and 1+ bilateral lower extremity edema. Labs show an unremarkable CBC, normal renal function and electrolytes, a Hb A1c of 6.1%, and an NT-proBNP of 750 (no prior baseline available). On echocardiogram, his LVEF is 44% and nuclear stress testing was negative for inducible ischemia. What is the best next step in management?
Add furosemide BID and daily metolazone
Start empagliflozin and furosemide as needed
Start metoprolol succinate
No change to medical therapy
The correct answer is B – start empagliflozin and furosemide as needed.
The patient described here has heart failure with mildly reduced EF (HFmrEF), given LVEF in the range of 41-49%.
In patients with HF who have fluid retention, diuretics are recommended to relieve congestion, improve symptoms, and prevent worsening HF (Class 1, LOE B-NR). For patients with HF and congestive symptoms, addition of a thiazide (eg, metolazone) to treatment with a loop diuretic should be reserved for patients who do not respond to moderate or hi…
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