Background: Risk stratification is a crucial issue in heart failure. Clinicians seek useful tools to tailor therapies according to patient risk.
Methods: A prospective, observational, multicenter study on stable chronic heart failure outpatients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF). Baseline demographics, blood, natriuretic peptides (NPs), high-sensitivity troponin I (hsTnI), and echocardiographic data, including the ratio between tricuspid annular plane excursion and systolic pulmonary artery pressure (TAPSE/PASP), were collected. Association with death for any cause was analyzed.
Results: Four hundred thirty-one (431) consecutive patients were enrolled in the study. Fifty deaths occurred over a median follow-up of 32 months. On the multivariable Cox model analysis, TAPSE/PASP ratio, number of biomarkers above the threshold values, and gender were independent predictors of death. Both the TAPSE/PASP ratio ≥0.36 and TAPSE/PASP unavailable groups had a three-fold decrease in risk of death in comparison to the TAPSE/PASP ratio <0.36 group. The risk of death increased linearly by 1.6 for each additional positive biomarker and by almost two for women compared with men.
Conclusions: In a HFrEF outpatient cohort, the evaluation of plasma levels of both NPs and hsTnI can contribute significantly to identifying patients who have a worse prognosis, in addition to the echocardiographic assessment of right ventricular-arterial coupling.