March 2016, 24:4

08 March 2016



Chronic Heart Failure Clinical Practice Guidelines’ Class 1-A Pharmacologic Recommendations: Start-to-End Synergistic Drug Therapy?

Ramon F. AbarquezJr., Paul Ferdinand M. Reganit , Carmen N. Chungunco, Jean Alcover, Felix Eduardo R. Punzalan, Eugenio B. Reyes, Elleen L. Cunanan

ASEAN Heart Journal

First online: 

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Chronic heart failure (HF) disease as an emerging epidemic has a high economic-psycho-social burden, hospitalization, readmission, morbidity and mortality rates despite many clinical practice guidelines’ evidenced-based and consensus driven recommendations that include trials’ initial-baseline data.



To show that the survival and hospitalization-free event rates in the reviewed chronic HF clinical practice guidelines’ class I-A recommendations as initial HF drug therapy (IDT) is possibly a combination and ‘start-to-end’ synergistic effect of the add-on (‘end’) HF drug therapy (ADT) to the baseline (‘start’) HF drug therapy (BDT).



The references cited in the chronic HF clinical practice guidelines of the 2005, 2009, and 2013 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC), the 2006 Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), and the 2005, 2008, and 2012 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) were reviewed and compared with the respective guidelines’ and other countries’ recommendations.



The BDT using glycosides and diuretics is 79%-100% in the cited HF trials. The survival rates attributed to the BDT (‘start’) is 46%-89% and IDT (‘end’) 61%-92.8%, respectively. The hospitalization-free event rate of the BDT group: 47.1% to 85.3% and IDT group 61.8%-90%, respectively. Thus, the survival and hospitalization-free event rates of the ADT is 0.4%-15% and 4.6% to 14.7%, respectively. The extrapolated BDT survival is 8%-51% based on a 38% estimated natural HF survival rate for the time period109.



The contribution of baseline HF drug therapy (BDT) is relevant in terms of survival and hospitalization-free event rates compared to the HF class 1-A guidelines initial drug therapy recommendations (IDT). Further, the proposed initial HF drug (‘end’) therapy (IDT) has possible synergistic effects with the baseline HF drug (‘start’) therapy (BDT) and is essentially the add on HF drug therapy (ADT) in our analysis. The polypharmacy HF treatment is a synergistic effect due to BDT and ADT.



Heart failure - analysis - clinical practice guidelines


Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of the Philippines, College of Medicine and Philippine General Hospital, Manila

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Paul M. Reganit, MD, MPH, Section of Cardiology, University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, 6/F, PGH Compound, Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines 1000. Telephone: 632.708.0000 or email at

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0) which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.


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