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      Exercise Duration and Peak Systolic Blood Pressure Are Predictive of Mortality in Ambulatory Patients with Mild-Moderate Chronic Heart Failure


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          Background and Aims: It is a prevailing concept in chronic heart failure (CHF) that ventricular remodelling (evaluated via imaging) and neurohormonal activation (via biomarkers) exert major influences, such that the need to subject patients to haemodynamic evaluations and exercise testing has been questioned. We sought to investigate whether exercise and haemodynamic parameters lack independent prognostic value in a cohort of unselected ambulatory patients with mild-moderate CHF. Methods: Eighty-five consecutive patients with stable CHF in New York Heart Association functional classes I–IV, aged 55 ± 12 years, 84% males, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 37 ± 15%, participated in this study. Survivors were followed for a median of 5.08 years. All subjects underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing to measure standard parameters including peak oxygen consumption, exercise duration and blood pressure. A sample of venous blood was taken to determine the N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (N-BNP) level. Echocardiography was performed at rest to measure LVEF. Predictors of mortality were sought using the Cox proportional hazards model. Results: All-cause mortality was 19% (16 deaths, 95% CI 11–29%). Age and LVEF did not independently predict mortality. Although various parameters including New York Heart Association class, peak oxygen consumption and N-BNP level were all predictive of outcome on univariate analysis, multivariate analysis identified reduced exercise duration and peak systolic blood pressure (SBP) to be the only independent predictors of all-cause mortality. Hazard ratios of 0.78 (95% CI 0.65–0.93, p = 0.007) and 0.79 (95% CI 0.66–0.95, p = 0.01) were associated with an increase in exercise duration of 1 min and 10 mm Hg peak SBP, respectively. Conclusions: Two simple parameters (exercise duration and peak SBP) that are easily measured by standard exercise testing are the strongest independent predictors of mortality which outperform LVEF and N-BNP in ambulatory patients with mild-moderate CHF.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Exercise training meta-analysis of trials in patients with chronic heart failure (ExTraMATCH).

           ,  M Piepoli,  D. Francis (2004)
          To determine the effect of exercise training on survival in patients with heart failure due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Collaborative meta-analysis. Inclusion criteria Randomised parallel group controlled trials of exercise training for at least eight weeks with individual patient data on survival for at least three months. Studies reviewed Nine datasets, totalling 801 patients: 395 received exercise training and 406 were controls. Death from all causes. During a mean (SD) follow up of 705 (729) days there were 88 (22%) deaths in the exercise arm and 105 (26%) in the control arm. Exercise training significantly reduced mortality (hazard ratio 0.65, 95% confidence interval, 0.46 to 0.92; log rank chi(2) = 5.9; P = 0.015). The secondary end point of death or admission to hospital was also reduced (0.72, 0.56 to 0.93; log rank chi(2) = 6.4; P = 0.011). No statistically significant subgroup specific treatment effect was observed. Meta-analysis of randomised trials to date gives no evidence that properly supervised medical training programmes for patients with heart failure might be dangerous, and indeed there is clear evidence of an overall reduction in mortality. Further research should focus on optimising exercise programmes and identifying appropriate patient groups to target.
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            N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. A new gold standard in predicting mortality in patients with advanced heart failure.

            The selection of patients for cardiac transplantation (CTx) is notoriously difficult and traditionally involves clinical assessment and an assimilation of markers of the severity of CHF such as the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), maximum oxygen uptake (peak VO2) and more recently, composite scoring systems e.g. the heart failure survival score (HFSS). Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is well established as an independent predictor of prognosis in mild to moderate chronic heart failure (CHF). However, the prognostic ability of NT-proBNP in advanced heart failure is unknown and no studies have compared NT-proBNP to standard clinical markers used in the selection of patients for transplantation. The purpose of this study was to examine the prognostic ability of NT-proBNP in advanced heart failure and compare it to that of the LVEF, peak VO2 and the HFSS. We prospectively studied 142 consecutive patients with advanced CHF referred for consideration of CTx. Plasma for NT-proBNP analysis was sampled and patients followed up for a median of 374 days. The primary endpoint of all-cause mortality was reached in 20 (14.1%) patients and the combined secondary endpoint of all-cause mortality or urgent CTx was reached in 24 (16.9%) patients. An NT-proBNP concentration above the median was the only independent predictor of all cause mortality (chi2=6.03, P=0.01) and the combined endpoint of all cause mortality or urgent CTx (chi2 =12.68, P=0.0004). LVEF, VO2 and HFSS were not independently predictive of mortality or need for urgent cardiac transplantation in this study. A single measurement of NT-proBNP in patients with advanced CHF, can help to identify patients at highest risk of death, and is a better prognostic marker than the LVEF, VO2 or HFSS.
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              Role of brain natriuretic peptide in risk stratification of patients with congestive heart failure.

              Using a prospective study design, we assessed the value of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) to identify patients with heart failure who have an increased risk of deterioration of their functional status. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between BNP and various clinical characteristics incorporated into an established survival model used for risk stratification. Prediction of the clinical course is a crucial part of the decision-making process about the adequate treatment strategy for patients with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF). Although laborious, multivariable indexes have been established for risk stratification, simple plasma BNP measurements may be as useful as prognostic indicators. In 78 patients referred to our heart failure clinic, plasma BNP levels were compared with the results of a multivariable prognostic model. To assess the prognostic power of BNP, the clinical course of this cohort was monitored for a median follow-up period of 398 days. At study entry, plasma BNP and the heart failure survival score (HFSS) showed a significant correlation (r = -0.706). During follow-up, Kaplan-Meier estimates of freedom from clinical events differed significantly for patients above and below the 75th percentile concentrations of plasma BNP (p < 0.0001). Changes in plasma BNP were significantly related to changes in limitations of physical activity, as demonstrated by logistic regression analysis (chi-square statistic = 24.9, p < 0.0001). Proportional hazards analysis confirmed BNP as a powerful predictor of functional status deterioration (p < 0.0001). This prognostic information was as powerful as that derived from the multivariable HFSS. Measurement of plasma BNP concentrations might provide a useful and cost-effective screening tool that helps reduce the need and frequency for more expensive cardiac tests.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2005
                04 October 2005
                : 104
                : 4
                : 221-226
                aCardiac Transplant Unit, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, bCardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool, cDepartment of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Leicester, Leicester, and dAcademic Unit of Molecular Vascular Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
                88257 Cardiology 2005;104:221–226
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 31, Pages: 6
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