Heart Failure at ESC 2023: Recapitulations, Postulations, Predictions

Published: 04 September 2023

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Join the Late-breaker host, Dr Harriette Van Spall (McMaster University, CA) and Dr Milton Packer (Baylor University Medical Center, US) for a thought-provoking discussion on the present and future of heart failure care at ESC Congress 2023.


In this unique exchange, Dr Packer shares his thoughts on heart failure guidelines and the '2023 Focused Update of the 2021 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure,' while asking critical questions pertaining to categorisation and more.

Dr Van Spall asks Dr Packer about the hot line trial, STEP HFpEF, which examined how semaglutide performed in people dealing with both heart failure and obesity (NCT04788511).They put the trial in context by delving deeper into the question of BMI as a metric.


Next, Dr Packer highlights the question of bias in Western medicine and the unexpected results of the QUEST trial, the first randomised, double-blind controlled trial of traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of chronic heart failure. Dr Packer poses the question: Is Western medicine based on stories or evidence-based medicine?

We learn Dr Packer’s one wish for the future of healthcare and his vision for heart failure care. Could we achieve better care with a non-human workforce?

Lastly, Dr Van Spall and Dr Packer focus on the question of trust and how we can rebuild it between patients and healthcare workers.


Video Specialists: Oliver Miles, Dan Brent


Editor: Mirjam Boros


About the episode

In the first chapter of this unique discussion, Dr Packer shares his insights into heart failure guidelines, with a particular emphasis on the '2023 Focused Update of the 2021 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure.' He also raises crucial questions concerning categorisation and other relevant topics.





Faculty Biographies

Milton Packer

Milton Packer

Distinguished Scholar in Cardiovascular Science

Personal History

Dr Milton Packer was born to Polish immigrants in 1951 and raised in Philadelphia, US. Prior to studying medicine, he was politically active in the 1960s. In his words: “The focus of my upbringing was education, but the major guiding principle in my childhood years (and throughout my entire life) was an uncompromising sense of justice. I was always imbued with the need to strive for and defend the truth.” He began his career in cardiology during a pivotal time for the field, just as interventional cardiology and

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Harriette Van Spall

Harriette Van Spall

Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of E-Health and Virtual Care

Dr Harriette Van Spall is an Associate Professor of Medicine and cardiologist and serves as Director of E-Health at McMaster University, Canada. She completed her medical and postgraduate clinical training at the University of Toronto and earned a Master of Public Health degree at Harvard University, US. Dr Van Spall is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded clinical trialist and researcher with a focus on heart failure, health services, and health disparities.

She has garnered more than $4 million in research funding, has won several research awards, and has published her work in high-impact medical journals. She is an invited speaker, media correspondent, and editorial board member active in peer review at several high-impact medications journals and grant funding agencies, including Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Dr Van Spall is an Editorial Board…

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