The past decade has seen many advances in the management of heart failure (HF) that have improved survival and quality of life for patients living with this condition. A number of gaps remain in our understanding of the pathophysiology of HF, and the application of emerging treatment strategies is an exciting but daunting challenge. It is possible that advances in genetic evaluation of cardiomyopathy will provide a more refined approach to characterizing HF syndromes, whereas large-scale clinical trials on the horizon should further clarify the role of novel pharmacologic agents and invasive therapies. Cardiac repair and regeneration hold great promise, but a number of pragmatic issues will limit clinical application in the near term. Replacing cardiac function with ventricular assist devices represents significant progress in the management of advanced disease; however, unacceptable rates of complications and costs need to be addressed before broader use in the general HF population is feasible. The ability to personalize care is limited, and the optimal model of disease management in the Canadian context remains uncertain. The emergence of biomarker-guided management and remote monitoring technologies might facilitate a more personalized approach to care in an effort to maintain health and stability and to prevent worsening HF. Ultimately, a greater understanding of how and when to intervene in the setting of acute HF should translate into improved outcomes for the highest-risk subgroup of patients. This review highlights key challenges in the management of HF and highlights the progress toward an ideal future state.
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