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This article provides information and a commentary on key trials relevant to the pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment of heart failure (HF) presented at the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure meeting held in Gothenburg, Sweden in May 2011. Unpublished reports should be considered as preliminary, since analyses may change in the final publication. In the TEHAF study, use of the Health Buddy® monitoring system failed to reduce the number of HF admissions compared with usual care but a subgroup of patients with more recently diagnosed HF may have benefited. In the WHICH study, some reductions in the rate of hospital stay were observed in patients who underwent a nurse-led home-based intervention programme following a hospital admission for an acute HF exacerbation, compared with patients who were followed in a specialized outpatient clinic. Results from CARVIVA-HF suggest that ivabradine alone or in combination with carvedilol is safe and effective for improving exercise capacity and quality of life in HF patients on optimized angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy. In the GISSI-HF study there was no difference in atrial fibrillation (AF) occurrence between the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and placebo groups. In EMPHASIS-HF the incidence of new onset AF or flutter was reduced in patients with mild HF randomized to eplerenone compared with placebo.