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Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2014 Mar;13(1):1-5. doi: 10.1097/HPC.0000000000000004.

Patient selection for advanced heart failure therapy referral.

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From the *Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; †Division of Cardiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; and ‡Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.


Despite advances in medical therapy for chronic heart failure (HF), advanced HF carries a dismal prognosis. Options such as transplantation and durable mechanical circulatory support have greatly improved outcomes for these patients, but their introduction has introduced significant complexity to patient management. Although much of this management occurs at specialized heart transplant centers, it is the responsibility of the primary cardiologist of the patient with advanced HF to refer patients at the appropriate time and to help them navigate the difficult decisions related to the pursuit of advanced therapies. We present a unique pathway that incorporates guidelines, recent data, and expert opinion to help general cardiologists determine which patients should be referred for transplantation or durable mechanical circulatory support, and when they should be referred. Decision making on referral to the heart transplant center is also summarized.

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