Guidelines summarize and evaluate available evidence with the aim of assisting health professionals in proposing the best management strategies for an individual patient with a given condition. Guidelines and their recommendations should facilitate decision making of health professionals in their daily practice. However, the final decisions concerning an individual patient must be made by the responsible health professional(s) in consultation with the patient and caregiver as appropriate.
A great number of guidelines have been issued in recent years by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), as well as by other societies and organizations. Because of their impact on clinical practice, quality criteria for the development of guidelines have been established in order to make all decisions transparent to the user. The recommendations for formulating and issuing ESC Guidelines can be found on the ESC website (https://www.escardio.org/Guidelines/Clinical-Practice-Guidelines/Guidelines-development/Writing-ESC-Guidelines). The ESC Guidelines represent the official position of the ESC on a given topic and are regularly updated.
In addition to the publication of Clinical Practice Guidelines, the ESC carries out the EurObservational Research Programme of international registries of cardiovascular diseases and interventions which are essential to assess, diagnostic/therapeutic processes, use of resources and adherence to Guidelines. These registries aim at providing a better understanding of medical practice in Europe and around the world, based on high-quality data collected during routine clinical practice.
Furthermore, the ESC has developed and embedded in this document a set of quality indicators (QIs), which are tools to evaluate the level of implementation of the Guidelines and may be used by the ESC, hospitals, healthcare providers and professionals to measure clinical practice as well as used in educational programmes, alongside the key messages from the guidelines, to improve quality of care and clinical outcomes.
The Members of this Task Force were selected by the ESC, including representation from its relevant ESC sub-specialty groups, in order to represent professionals involved with the medical care of patients with this pathology. Selected experts in the field undertook a comprehensive review of the published evidence for management of a given condition according to ESC Committee for Practice Guidelines (CPG) policy. A critical evaluation of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures was performed, including assessment of the risk–benefit ratio. The level of evidence and the strength of the recommendation of particular management options were weighed and graded according to predefined scales, as outlined below.
- acute cardiac care
- Acute coronary syndrome
- Acute Coronary Syndromes
- bypass surgery
- Cardiology Guideline
- chest pain unit
- dual antithrombotic therapy
- early invasive strategy
- ESc guideline
- European Society of Cardiology
- glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors
- high-sensitivity troponin
- Myocardial infarction
- myocardial ischaemia
- non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction
- platelet inhibition
- rhythm monitoring
- triple therapy
- unstable angina