In order to improve clinical practice, the Committee for Practice Guidelines charges groups of European
experts with the task of creating recommendations and guidelines for clinical practice. These recommendations
and guidelines clarify areas of consensus and disagreement, allowing distribution of the best possible guidance
to practicing physicians.
Guidelines aim to present all the relevant evidence on a particular clinical issue in order to help
physicians to weigh the benefits and risks of a particular diagnostic or therapeutic procedure. They
should be helpful in everyday clinical medical decision-making.
Third universal definition of myocardial infarction (2012)
Myocardial infarction (MI) can be recognised by clinical features, including
electrocardiographic (ECG) findings, elevated values of biochemical
markers (biomarkers) of myocardial necrosis, and by
imaging, or may be defined by pathology. It is a major cause of
death and disability worldwide. MI may be the first manifestation
of coronary artery disease (CAD) or it may occur, repeatedly, in
patients with established disease. Information on MI rates can
provide useful information regarding the burden of CAD within
and across populations, especially if standardized data are collected
in a manner that distinguishes between incident and recurrent
events. From the epidemiological point of view, the incidence of
MI in a population can be used as a proxy for the prevalence of
CAD in that population. The term 'myocardial infarction' may
have major psychological and legal implications for the individual
and society. It is an indicator of one of the leading health problems
in the world and it is an outcome measure in clinical trials, observational
studies and quality assurance programmes. These studies
and programmes require a precise and consistent definition of MI..
AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Non-ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes (2014)
The recommendations listed in this CPG are, whenever possible, evidence based.
An extensive evidence review was conducted through October 2012, and others elected
references published through April 2014 were reviewed by the GWC. Literature included
was derived from research involving humans ubjects, published in English, and indexed in MEDLINE
(through PubMed), EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Reports, and
others elected databases relevant to this CPG. The relevant data are included in evidence tables in the On line Data Supplement.
Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of syncope (version 2009)
Guidelines and Expert Consensus Documents summarize and
evaluate all currently available evidence on a particular issue with
the aim of assisting physicians in selecting the best management
strategies for a typical patient, suffering from a given condition,
taking into account the impact on outcome, as well as the risk/
benefit ratio of particular diagnostic or therapeutic means. Guidelines
are no substitutes for textbooks. The legal implications of
medical guidelines have been previously discussed.
The first ESC Guidelines for the management of syncope, were
published in 2001, and reviewed in 2004.1 In March 2008, the
CPG considered that there were enough new data to justify production
of new guidelines.
Guidelines for pre-operative cardiac risk assessment and perioperative cardiac management in non-cardiac surgery
The present guidelines focus on the cardiological management of patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery, i.e. patients where
heart disease is a potential source of complications during surgery.
The risk of perioperative complications depends on the condition of
the patient prior to surgery, the prevalence of co-morbidities,
and the magnitude and duration of the surgical procedure.3
More specifically, cardiac complications can arise in patients with
documented or asymptomatic ischaemic heart disease (IHD), left
ventricular (LV) dysfunction, and valvular heart disease (VHD)
who undergo procedures that are associated with prolonged
haemodynamic and cardiac stress. In the case of perioperative
myocardial ischaemia, two mechanisms are important: (i) chronic
mismatch in the supply-to-demand ratio of blood flow response
to metabolic demand, which clinically resembles stable IHD due
to a flow limiting stenosis in coronary conduit arteries; and (ii) coronary
plaque rupture due to vascular inflammatory processes presenting
as acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). Hence, although LV
dysfunction may occur for various reasons in younger age groups,
perioperative cardiac mortality and morbidity are predominantly
an issue in the adult population undergoing major non-cardiac surgery.
ACC/AHA/NASPE Guideline for Implantation of Cardiac Pacemakers and Antiarrhythmia Devices (version 2002)
ACC/AHA/NASPE 2002 Guideline Revision: Guiding Principles
- Changes reflect new clinical evidence, results from randomized clinical trials and clinical consensus.
- Healthcare, logistic, and financial implications of new evidence were considered in classifying indications.
- Made prior wording more precise when needed.
- Recommendations apply to ?most? patients, but the treating physician may modify based on an individual patient?s situation.
- Recommendations presume absence of inciting causes that may be eliminated without detriment to the patient.
- Efforts were made to maintain consistency with other related guidelines.
ACC/AHA/SCAI 2005 Guideline Update for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task
Force on Practice Guidelines (ACC/AHA/SCAI Writing Committee to Update the 2001
Guidelines for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention)
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have jointly engaged in
the production of such guidelines in the area of cardiovascular disease since 1980. This effort is directed by the
ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines, whose charge is to develop and revise practice guidelines for important cardiovascular
diseases and procedures. The Task Force is pleased to have this guideline cosponsored by the Society for
Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). Experts in the subject under consideration have been selected
from all three organizations to examine subject-specific data and write guidelines. The process includes additional
representatives from other medical practitioner and specialty groups where appropriate. Writing groups are specifically
charged to perform a formal literature review, weigh the strength of evidence for or against a particular treatment or
procedure, and include estimates of expected health outcomes where data exist. Patient-specific modifiers, comorbidities,
and issues of patient preference that might influence the choice of particular tests or therapies are considered, as
well as frequency of follow-up and cost-effectiveness. When available, information from studies on cost will be considered;
however, review of data on efficacy and clinical outcomes will be the primary basis for preparing recommendations in these guidelines.
Guidelines on the management of stable angina pectoris
The Task Force on the Managemt of Stable Angina Pectoris of the European Society of Cardiology
Stable angina pectoris is a common and disabling disorder. However, the managemt of stable angina has not been subjected
to the same scritiny by large randomized trials as has, for example, that of acute corinary symdromes (ACS) including
unstable angina and Myocardial infarction (MI). The optimal strategy of investigation and treatment is difficult
to define, and the developement of new tools for the diagnostic and prognostic assessment of patients, along with
the continually evolving evidence base for various treatment strategies, mandates that the existing guidelines be revised and updated.
Guidelines on Heart rate variability (HRV)
Standards of measurement, physiological interpretation, and clinical use.
Task Force of The European Society of Cardiology and The North American Society of Pacing
and Electrophysiology (Membership of the Task Force listed in the Appendix)
The last two decades have witnessed the recognition of a significant relationship between the autonomic nervous
system and cardiovascular mortality, including sudden cardiac death. Experimental evidence for an association
between a propensity for lethal arrhythmias and signs of either increased sympathetic or reduced vagal
activity has encouraged the development of quantitative markers of autonomic activity.
Heart rate variability (HRV) represents one of the most promising such markers. The apparently easy
derivation of this measure has popularized its use. As many commercial devices now provide automated
measurement of HRV, the cardiologist has been provided with a seemingly simple tool for both research and
clinical studies. However, the significance and meaning of the many different measures of HRV are more
complex than generally appreciated and there is a potential for incorrect conclusions and for excessive or
ACC/AHA 2007 STEMI Guidelines
Based on the 2007 Focused Update of the ACC/AHA Guidelines for the Management of Patients
With ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI): A Report of the ACC/AHA Task
Force on Practice Guidelines
The full-text guidelines and executive summary are also available on the Web sites: ACC (
) and, AHA (www.americanheart.org
Transcatheter valve implantation for patients with aortic stenosis
Transcatheter valve implantation for patients with aortic stenosis: a position statement from the European
Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery(EACTS) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), in collaboration
with the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions(EAPCI).
Consensus Document on Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2010
This document was developed by the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF)
Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents (ECDs) and cosponsored by the
American Collegeof Radiology (ACR), American Heart Association (AHA), North
American Society for Cardiovascular Imaging (NASCI), and the Society for
Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR), to provide a perspective on the
current state of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). ECDs are intended
to inform practitioners and other interested parties of the opinion of
the ACCF and document cosponsors concerning evolving areas of clinical
practice and/or technologies that are widely available or new to the
practice community. Topics are chosen for coverage be cause the evidence
base, the experience with technology, and/or theclinical practice are
not considered suf?ciently well developed to be evaluated by the formal
ACCF/AHA practice guidelines process. Often the topicis the subject
of ongoing investigation.
Consensus Document on Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography 2010
This document was reviewed by 15 official representatives from the ACCF
(2 representatives ), ACR (2 representatives), AHA (2 representatives ),
ASNC (1 representative ) NASCI (2 representatives ), SAIP ( 2 representatives ),
SCAI (2 representatives ), and SCCT (2 representatives), as well as 10 content reviewers,
resulting in 518 peer review comments. Peer review comments were entered into a table
and reviewed in detail by the writing committee chair. The chair engaged writing
committee members to respond to the comments, and the document was revised to
incorporate reviewer comments where deemed appropriate by the writing committee.
In addition, a member of the ACCF Task Force on Clinical ECDs served as lead
reviewer for this document. This person conducted an independent review of the
document at the time of peer review. Once the writing committee document
edits response to reviewer comments and updated the manuscript, the
lead reviewer assessed whether all peer review issues were handled
adequately or whether there were gaps that required additional
review The lead reviewer reported to the task force chair that
all comments were handled appropriately and recommended that
the document go forward to the task force for ?nal review and sign-off.
Guidelines for Mitral-Valve Operation; American College of Cardiology–American Heart Association 2006
ACC/AHA 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease:
a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on
Practice Guidelines (writing committee to revise the 1998 Guidelines for the Management
of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease): developed in collaboration with the Society of
Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists: endorsed by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography
and Interventions and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation 2006;114(5):e84-e231.
[Erratum, Circulation 2007;115(5):e409.]
Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation
Atrial Fibrillation(AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia,
occurring in 1–2 % of the general population. Over 6
million Europeans suffer from this arrhythmia, and its prevalence
is estimated to at least double in the next 50 years as the
population ages. It is now 4 years since the last AF guideline
was published, and a new version is now needed.
Guidelines on Myocardial Revascularization
Myocardial revascularization has been an established mainstay in the treatment of CAD
for almost half a century. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG),
used in clinical practice since the 1960s, is arguably the most intensively
studied surgical procedure ever undertaken, while percutaneous coronary
intervention (PCI), used for over three decades, has been subjected to more
randomized clinical trials (RCTs) than any other interventional procedure.
PCI was ?rst introduced in 1977 by Andreas Gruentzig and by the mid-1980s
was promoted as an alternative to CABG.
2009 ACCF/AHA Focused Update on Perioperative Beta Blockade Incorporated Into the ACC/AHA
2007 Guidelines on Perioperative Cardiovascular Evaluation and Care for Non cardiac Surgery
Patient adherence to prescribed and agreed upon medical regimens and lifestyles is an important
aspect of treatment. Prescribed courses of treatment in accordance with these recommendations
are only effective if they are followed. Because lack of patient understanding and adherence
may adversely affect outcomes, physicians and other healthcare providers should make every
effort to engage the patient’s active participation in prescribed medical regimens and lifestyles.
If these guidelines are used as the basis for regulatory or payer decisions, the goal should be quality
of care and the patient’s best interest. The ultimate judgment regarding care of a particular patient
must be made by the health care provider and the patient in light of all of the circumstances presented
by that patient. Consequently, there are circumstances in which deviations from these guidelines are appropriate.
The guidelines will be reviewed annually by the ACCF/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines and considered
current unless they are updated, revised, or withdrawn from distribution.
ACCF/AHA 2011 Expert Consensus Document on Hypertension in the Elderly
A report developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology, American Geriatrics
Society, American Society for Preventive Cardiology, American Society of Hypertension,
American Society of Nephrology, Association of Black Cardiologist, and European Society of Hypertension.
This document was written with the intent to be a complete reference at the time of publication
on the topic of managing hypertension in the elderly.
2011 ASA/ACCF/AHA/AANN/AANS/ACR/ASNR/CNS/SAIP/SCAI/SIR/SNIS/SVM/SVS Guideline on the Management of Patients With Extracranial Carotid and Vertebral Artery Disease
The ACCF/AHA writing committee to create the 2011 Guideline on the Management of Patients With
Extracranial Carotid and Vertebral Artery Disease (ECVD) conducted a comprehensive review of
the literature relevant to carotid and vertebral artery interventions through May 2010.
The recommendations listed in this document are, whenever possible, evidence-based. Searches were limited to studies,
reviews, and other evidence conducted in human subjects and published in English.
Key search words included but were not limited to angioplasty, atherosclerosis, carotid artery disease, carotid endarterectomy(CEA),
carotid revascularization, carotid stenosis, carotid stenting, carotid arterystenting(CAS),
extracranial carotid artery stenosis, stroke, transient ischemic attack(TIA), and vertebral artery disease.
2013 ACCF/AHA Key Data Elements and Definitions for Measuring the Clinical Management and Outcomes of Patients With Acute Coronary Syndromes and Coronary Artery Disease
In the field of cardiology, large-scale clinical trials and registries have provided a wealth of data on the treatment and outcomes for hundreds of thousands of patients. Many of these efforts have focused on patients with acute coronary
syndromes (ACS), which range from ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) to non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) to unstable angina
(UA). These data have been used to evaluate the effectiveness of the pharmacological and interventional management of these patients, de?ne new therapies, and guide clinical care through evaluation of both the process and the quality
of care and outcomes for patients with ACS.