Department of Critical Cardiology and Rehabilitation

Heart Failure and Clinical Cardiology

Quick Facts

The Heart Failure Unit uses the most modern diagnostic, assessment and therapeutic instruments (cardiopulmonary exercise testing, respiratory function tests, gas diffusing studies, echocardiography and cardiac computed tomography in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Imaging Unit, ultra/haemofiltration, counter-stimulation in collaboration with the Intensive Coronary Care Unit, and electrostimulation in collaboration with the Arrhythmia Unit).

The Heart Failure, Clinical Cardiology and Rehabilitation Cardiology Unit focuses on the management of patients with decompensated cardiac dysfunction. Depending on the severity and the diagnostic needs, the patient is admitted to hospital and/or managed through specific outpatient appointments.

Heart failure is one of the most common diseases in the western world. The treatment of this syndrome involves first of all identification of the triggering cause and then establishing adequate, targeted pharmacological and non-pharmacological protection.

The Heart Failure Unit uses the most modern diagnostic, assessment and therapeutic instruments (cardiopulmonary exercise testing, respiratory function tests, gas diffusing studies, echocardiography and cardiac computed tomography in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Imaging Unit, ultra/haemofiltration, counter-stimulation in collaboration with the Intensive Coronary Care Unit, and electrostimulation in collaboration with the Arrhythmia Unit).

Mecki Score: Metabolic Exercise Cardiac Kidney Index

The Mecki Score is an instrument for calculating the risk of chronic systolic heart failure reserved exclusively for clinical use by physicians.

Go to the Mecki Score

Research Activities

  • The staff, in addition to the clinical activity, is engaged in an intense research activity also in collaboration with other Italian and foreign Centers (among them, in the United States: University of Washington in Seattle, Veteran Administration Hospital in Boise, University of California - Torrance, University of Colorado in Denver).

    The research topics are:

    • cardiopulmonary stress test methodology
    • heart-lung correlation during exercise in heart failure
    • diffusion of gases through the alveolar-capillary membrane in heart failure
    • physiopathology of heart failure
    • ultrafiltration
    • therapy of heart failure

Other Activities

  • Educational activities

    The doctors provide their collaboration to the Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Section of Cardiovascular Diseases of the University of Milan. The Heart Failure Unit welcomes specialists in Cardiology and provides the necessary logistics and tutors for the preparation of the theses of both undergraduates and postgraduates. The Unit’s doctors also carry out teaching activities in the Specialty School and participate in numerous teaching programmes with courses on cardiopulmonary stress testing at national, European and American level. Finally, the Unit regularly welcomes medical visitors from various Italian and foreign institutions, for educational purposes.

    National and international scientific activities

    Professor Agostoni is president of the CPX-International traded as ISEIRE (International Society for exercise Intolerance Research and Education) which deals with the teaching of the cardiopulmonary effort terst at an international level. There are also courses at the national level of CPET (cardiopulmonary stress test). The Division participates in the elaboration of numerous guidelines on cardiac heart failure and cardiopulmonary stress tests, both national (Italian Federation of Cardiology) and international (European Society of Cardiology)