During the ESC Heart Failure Congress 2016, held in Florence PACE-CME organised a satellite symposium that elaborated on beneficial and unwanted effects of RAAS inhibition in heart failure. Hyperkalaemia is a common comorbid condition, which is often the reason that patients receive suboptimal treatment. Also when potassium levels are high, a patient still benefits from RAAS-inhibiting treatment.
Dickstein started off outlining the concept that HF is not a disease but a syndrome with multiple causes and converges many symptoms, making it a very large and heterogeneous population. This population is rapidly growing and prevalence estimates depend on how HF is defined
Several therapeutic options exist for hyperkalaemia. Insulin, beta-adrenergic agonists and sodium bicarbonate are used in acute situations. In case of very high potassium levels, dialysis can be done.
Prof. Zannad explained the implementation of RAAS inhibitors (RAASi) for the treatment of HF in clinical practice and their clinical impact. He showed that RAASi are frequently omitted or discontinued in clinical practice, although HF guidelines strongly recommend the use of RAASi for several indications.