Vol 20, No 6 (2013)
Original articles
Published online: 2013-12-11

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The prognostic value of arterial stiffness in systolic heart failure

Şerafettin Demir, Onur Akpınar, Oguz Akkus, Kamil Nas, Ilker Unal, Frenc Molnar, Ahmet Demir, Miklós Illyés, Esmeray Acartürk
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.2013.0168
Cardiol J 2013;20(6):665-671.


Background: Increased arterial stiffness is an indicator of mortality. This study consists of an 18-month follow-up of the mortality in advanced heart failure patients with increased arterial stiffness.

Methods: The study followed up 98 patients with a diagnosis of heart failure in NYHA class III and IV (76 males, 22 females and mean age of 60 ± 12 years) with a left ventricular ejection fraction ≤ 35% as determined by the Simpson method. Augmentation index (Aix) and pulse wave propagation velocity (PWV) parameters were used as indicators of arterial stiffness. Aix and PWV values were measured by arteriography.

Results: 36 patients died. Both Aix and PWV were powerful determinants of mortality, independent of other prognostic variables (p = 0.013, OR: 0.805; p = 0.025, OR: 0.853). A cutoff value for Aix of –14.33 gave 91.2%, 80.3% sensitivity and specificity. A cutoff value for PWVof 11.06 gave 82.4%, 65.4% sensitivity and specificity mortality was predicted. Left ventricular ejection fraction (p = 0.008, OR: 0.859) and B-type natriuretic peptide (p = 0.01, OR: 0.833) was the other independent determinant of mortality. A significant difference was found inboth Aix and PWV between the compensated measurements and decompensated heart failure measurements made in 70 patients (p = 0.035, p = 0.048).

Conclusions: Measurement of arterial stiffness is a convenient, inexpensive and reliable method for predicting mortality in patients with advanced heart failure.