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Same Evidence, Different Recommendations: A Methodological Assessment of Transatlantic Guidelines for the Management of Valvular Heart Disease

Thursday, May 16, 2024

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Source Name: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery


Milan Milojevic, Miguel Sousa-Uva, Mateo Marin-Cuartas, Sanjay Kaul, Aleksandar Nikolic, John Mandrola, J Rafael Sádaba, Patrick O Myers

In this publication, the authors aimed to identify methodological differences that led to varied recommendations between the current American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) valvular heart disease (VHD) guidelines. They also aimed to suggest improvements toward standardizing guideline development. To this end, an in-depth analysis was conducted to evaluate the methodologies used in developing both guidelines. The evaluation was benchmarked against the standards proposed by the Institute of Medicine. Considerable discrepancies were noted in the methodologies utilized in development processes, including writing committee composition, evidence evaluation, conflict of interest management, and voting processes. Furthermore, both methodologies also demonstrated notable deviations from the Institute of Medicine standards in several essential areas, like literature review and evidence grading. These variances likely influenced treatment recommendations, thus significantly impacting global practice patterns. The authors concluded that standardization of essential processes is vital to increase the uniformity and credibility of clinical practice guidelines.

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