American Heart Association

HF patient death leads to poor spousal outcomes

Contributor: Elise Vo

Being the spouse of a HF patient is challenging. In a recent study, Dunlay and colleagues explored the link between spousal health and HF patient outcomes. Interestingly, spousal health did not correlate with HF patient death or hospitalization. However, spouse caregivers experienced worse outcomes following the death of their HF partner.

Olmsted County residents were screened for HF between 2002-2012 using ICD-9 codes. 905 patients met study criteria, 586 (65%) males with mean age of 73.3, 96% Caucasian, and average LVEF 47.7%. The spousal characteristics were: 584 (65%) female, mean age of 71, and 96% Caucasian. HF patient charts were reviewed for marriage.

Outcomes in Chagasic heart failure worse than other HFrEF subtypes

Contributor: Elise Vo

A young Latin American female patient walks into clinic with signs and symptoms of HF, a right bundle branch block on 12-lead EKG, and reduced EF on echo. She has Chagas disease and HFrEF, but what is her prognosis?

Despite its high prevalence in South America, reports of morbidity and mortality of this disease have been variant. Using post-hoc analysis, McMurray et al evaluated outcomes in 2552 Latin American patients from the PARADIGM-HF and ATMOSPHERE trials where 195 (7.6%) had Chagasic HFrEF. The authors discovered that despite younger age and fewer comorbidities, the Chagasic HFrEF cohort had higher CV death and hospitalization when compared to ischemic and non-ischemic groups. Chagasic HFrEF patients had worse quality of life compared to the non-ischemic group, measured using the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ).

Hemodynamic measurements using QRS gating may more accurately classify pulmonary hypertension in heart transplant candidates

Contributor: Elise Vo

We’re talking Group 2 PAH here.  Diastolic pressure difference (DPD) [diastolic pulmonary artery pressure (dPAP) minus pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP)] identifies isolated post capillary pulmonary hypertension (Ipc-PH) (DPD ≤ 7 mmHg) in group 2 patients.  A diastolic pressure difference of > 7 mmHg defines combined pre-post capillary pulmonary hypertension (Cpc-PH)). Prior to heart transplantation, classification of pulmonary hypertension as Ipc-PH or Cpc-PH is important. Unlike Ipc-PH, Cpc-PH is associated with increased morbidity and mortality related to right ventricular graft failure post heart transplant. Even in the hands of seasoned invasive hemodynamic practitioners, measurement of DPD may not be as straightforward as it seems. Those tracings move, and these pressure differences are small!

Decoupling between dPAP and PCWP predicts mortality and HF readmission among CF-LVAD patients

Contributor: Elise Vo

Decoupling of diastolic pulmonary artery pressure and PCWP (greater than 5 mmHg difference) during ramp testing in continuous flow LVAD patients is a significant predictor for HF hospitalization and all-cause mortality. This decoupling is also represented as the diastolic pressure gradient (dPAP-PCWP). dPAP and PCWP decoupling (increased DPG) may indicate intrinsic pulmonary vascular pathology and associated right ventricular strain.