©2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The detection of patients at high risk for death is a major challenge in HF management. The authors compared the prognostic value of 23 clinical Doppler echocardiography and cardiopulmonary exercise indexes in a stable, moderately symptomatic, systolic HF outpatient population receiving optimal medical therapy. The end point was the incidence of overall mortality. Between January 2002 and December 2008, a total of 146 patients with left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction 0.31±0.8 and New York Heart Association functional class II or III were enrolled. The prognostic power of single variables was assessed using chi-square test for categoric variables and t test for continuous variables. Variables associated with the prespecified end point were included as predictors in a binary logistic regression multivariate model. At multivariate analysis, “restrictive” LV filling pattern (P=.004), ischemic etiology (P=.022), pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) ≥50 mm Hg (P=.027), and peak oxygen uptake (VO2) <15.9 mL/kg/min (P=.046) resulted independent predictors of the outcome. A simple risk score was then obtained using these significant independent variables, excluding peak VO2 because of only borderline significance. Patients with ischemic etiology, restrictive LV filling pattern, and PASP ≥50 mm Hg have a very high risk of death (odds ratio, 33.77; 95% confidence interval, 5.74–198.8; P<.001, compared with patients with no risk factors). In this high-risk group, evaluation of peak VO2 could be superfluous. A very simple clinical echocardiographic model based on etiology-LV filling and pulmonary pressure is a powerful tool for risk stratification of systolic HF in ambulatory patients.