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The ESC-HF Pilot survey was aimed to describe clinical epidemiology and 1-year outcomes of outpatients and inpatients with heart failure (HF). The pilot phase was also specifically aimed at validating structure, performance, and quality of the data set for continuing the survey into a permanent Registry.The ESC-HF Pilot study is a prospective, multicentre, observational survey conducted in 136 Cardiology Centres in 12 European countries selected to represent the different health systems across Europe. All outpatients with HF and patients admitted for acute HF on 1 day per week for eight consecutive months were included. From October 2009 to May 2010, 5118 patients were included: 1892 (37%) admitted for acute HF and 3226 (63%) patients with chronic HF. The all-cause mortality rate at 1 year was 17.4% in acute HF and 7.2% in chronic stable HF. One-year hospitalization rates were 43.9% and 31.9%, respectively, in hospitalized acute and chronic HF patients. Major regional differences in 1-year mortality were observed that could be explained by differences in characteristics and treatment of the patients.The ESC-HF Pilot survey confirmed that acute HF is still associated with a very poor medium-term prognosis, while the widespread adoption of evidence-based treatments in patients with chronic HF seems to have improved their outcome profile. Differences across countries may be due to different local medical practice as well to differences in healthcare systems. This pilot study also offered the opportunity to refine the organizational structure for a long-term extended European network.