New Specialty to Focus on Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation

Subspecialty cardiologists will guide delivery of high-tech, cost-effective care for advanced heart failure, according to Journal of Cardiac Failure

Philadelphia, 5 March 2009 – The new medical subspecialty of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology will lead the way in providing technically advanced yet cost-effective care for patients with heart failure, says a perspective article in the March issue of the Journal of Cardiac Failure, official publication of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) and the Japanese Heart Failure Society, published by Elsevier.

"First and foremost, this action represents an essential advance for patients with heart failure and their families," according to “Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology: A Subspecialty Is Born,” written by Dr. Marvin A. Konstam of Tufts Medical Center, Boston, and other leading U.S. heart failure experts. The proposal to establish the new subspecialty, originated and advocated by the HFSA, was approved late last year by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The first Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologists will be certified in 2010.

The new specialty is needed because of the rapid progress in treatment options for patients with heart failure, such as heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices (VADs). "As a result, a subspecialty has arisen de facto, with more than 40 cardiology programs in the United States providing training in the area of advanced heart failure and a growing number of individual cardiologists offering a varying spectrum of expertise," Dr. Konstam and colleagues write.

While most heart failure patients will continue to be managed by general internists or cardiologists, the new subspecialists will serve as consultants for patients with worsening heart failure and those who need more advanced care. Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologists will also play a critical role as leaders of specialized services, such as transplant centers and heart failure clinics. They will be cardiologists with experience in managing the entire spectrum of patients with heart failure and proficiency in the expanding range of treatment techniques.

For the first five years, cardiologists who can document high-level experience in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology will be qualified to sit for the certifying examination. After that, one-year accredited training programs will be available for physicians after they have earned their board certification in Cardiovascular Disease through the ABIM.

"This development speaks for the remarkable advances in the management and outcomes of patients with heart failure, which just a few decades ago was associated with a very poor prognosis and for which there were few therapies," comments Barry M. Massie, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cardiac Failure. " This perspective, authored by several of the leaders who developed and shepherded the certification process to its successful culmination, highlights the rationale for formalizing training the training process for specialists in this field and the requirements for certification."

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Notes to Editors:
The full citation of this article is “Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology: A Subspecialty is Born”, by Marvin A. Konstam, Mariell Jessup, Gary S. Francis, Douglas L. Mann, Barry Greenberg. Journal of Cardiac Failure, Volume 15, Issue 2, March 2009, pages 98-100 doi:10.1016/j.cardfail.2008.12.012
The article will also appear in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 53, Issue 10, March 10, 2009, pages 834-836

About Journal of Cardiac Failure
Journal of Cardiac Failure
publishes original, peer-reviewed communications of scientific excellence and review articles on clinical research, basic human studies, animal studies, and bench research with potential clinical applications to heart failure - pathogenesis, etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiological mechanisms, assessment, prevention, and treatment. Journal of Cardiac Failure is the official journal of the Heart Failure Society of America and the Japanese Heart Failure Society. It has an Impact Factor of 3.067 (the highest among journals with a heart failure focus and 19th among all cardiovascular journals) and an Immediacy Factor of 1.306, the 7th among all cardiovascular journals.

About the Heart Failure Society of America
The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized association of heart failure experts. Today HFSA has over 1,700 members and provides a forum for all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA, NIH, NHLBI, CMS). Additional information on HFSA can be found at www.hfsa.org.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence,and ClinicalKey—and publishes over 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

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