The increasing prevalence of heart failure poses enormous challenges for health care systems worldwide. Despite effective medical interventions that target neurohumoral activation, mortality and morbidity remain substantial. Evidence for inflammatory activation as an important pathway in disease progression in chronic heart failure has emerged in the last two decades. However, clinical trials of 'anti-inflammatory' therapies (such as anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha approaches) have to date failed to show benefit in heart failure patients. The Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology recently organized an expert workshop to address the issue of inflammation in heart failure from a basic science, translational and clinical perspective, and to assess whether specific inflammatory pathways may yet serve as novel therapeutic targets for this condition. This consensus document represents the outcome of the workshop and defines key research questions that still need to be addressed as well as considering the requirements for future clinical trials in this area
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