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On behalf of the British Society of Echocardiography, we have great pleasure in presenting the Heart Echo supplement for 2004. The main focus of this year’s supplement is cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) with particular emphasis on the role of echocardiography. This is, clearly, a “hot topic” within cardiology at present and we are delighted to have received contributions to this journal from international authorities on the subject. The role of echocardiography is pivotal in the diagnosis and management of patients with heart failure; its role in CRT epitomises the way in which high quality, sophisticated echocardiography is used alongside invasive and electrophysiological approaches. The contributors to this supplement, therefore, include international experts in heart failure, device implantation, and echocardiography.
In addition to an excellent editorial outlining the broad concepts of device therapy for heart failure, three articles provide a detailed and expert overview of the current state-of-the-art, before (patient selection), during (device optimisation), and after (markers of response) the implantation of a biventricular pacemaker. We hope that cardiologists and cardiac physiologists with and without a specialist interest in echocardiography will find them interesting and informative.
We are also delighted to include clinical guidelines on stress echocardiography from the British Society of Echocardiography. It is hoped that this comprehensive document will be invaluable to those setting up or delivering a stress echocardiography service. As such, it is the first of a series of guidelines and recommendations to be published by the Society.
Finally, we are extremely grateful to those authors, sponsors, and British Society of Echocardiography committee members who have contributed to this supplement.