Acute heart failure is life threatening in adults and in the pediatric population. It represents the final pathway of complex physiological mechanisms that vary with age and underlying diseases. Strategies for treatment of heart failure should integrate to an concept of stepwise approach to heart failure. Evolving therapies, that are changing standard of care, are discussed. This paper gives an overview on principles for treatment of congestive heart failure, like diuretics, ss-beta-blockade, and angiotensin-converting enzyme blockers and discusses the approach to acute heart failure, including new and well known inotropic agents. Mechanical circulatory support and finally heart transplantation are focused as options in the last line.