The year in cardiovascular medicine 2021: heart failure and cardiomyopathies

Eur Heart J. 2022 Feb 3;43(5):367-376. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab887.


In the year 2021, the universal definition and classification of heart failure (HF) was published that defines HF as a clinical syndrome with symptoms and/or signs caused by a cardiac abnormality and corroborated by elevated natriuretic peptide levels or objective evidence of cardiogenic congestion. This definition and the classification of HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), mildly reduced, and HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is consistent with the 2021 ESC Guidelines on HF. Among several other new recommendations, these guidelines give a Class I indication for the use of the sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors dapagliflozin and empagliflozin in HFrEF patients. As the first evidence-based treatment for HFpEF, in the EMPEROR-Preserved trial, empagliflozin reduced the composite endpoint of cardiovascular death and HF hospitalizations. Several reports in 2021 have provided novel and detailed analyses of device and medical therapy in HF, especially regarding sacubitril/valsartan, SGLT2 inhibitors, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, ferric carboxymaltose, soluble guanylate cyclase activators, and cardiac myosin activators. In patients hospitalized with COVID-19, acute HF and myocardial injury is quite frequent, whereas myocarditis and long-term damage to the heart are rather uncommon.

Keywords: Activators of soluble guanylate cyclase; Angiotensin receptor–neprilysin inhibitors; Artificial intelligence; Biomarkers; Device therapy; Epidemiology; Heart failure; Imaging; Pharmacotherapy; SGLT-2 inhibitor.

MeSH terms

  • Aminobutyrates
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • COVID-19*
  • Cardiomyopathies*
  • Heart Failure* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Stroke Volume


  • Aminobutyrates
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • sacubitril