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  1. Catherine M Otto

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A challenge for the clinician caring for patients with heart disease is keeping up to date with new guidelines — there are several national and international societies writing guideline documents, there are many different types of heart disease, and the guidelines tend to be long with a multitude of recommendations and a plethora of additional details in the accompanying text. Digital approaches for accessing guidelines are helpful for finding the specific information needed for a specific clinical situation, but do not provide an overview of the basic principles underlying the recommendations or the major changes in updated guidelines. To address this gap in dissemination of knowledge, Heart will periodically publish short editorials about new or updated guidelines to provide the clinician with the key elements needed to understand the new recommendations. In this issue of Heart, the 2014 AHA/ACC Guidelines for Valvular Heart Disease are explored with editorials on new recommendations for aortic stenosis (see page 902) and mitral regurgitation (see page 905), including the new concept of valve disease stages which uses an …

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