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Liver stiffness as measured by transient elastography is a predictor of outcomes in patients with chronic heart failure with reduced, mid-range, and recovered left-ventricular ejection fraction

Nov. 24, 2021

Background

Transient elastography is a noninvasive method for assessing liver stiffness (LS), which can reflect right-sided filling pressure associated with passive liver congestion in patients with HF.

Methods

A prospective, single-center observational study in which LS was measured in consecutive ambulatory patients with heart failure with reduced, mid-range, and recovered left ventricular ejection fraction, between March 2018 and June 2019. Mean follow up was 219 ± 86 days. The primary endpoint was time to first event, which was defined as a composite of cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization.

Results

Eighty-five patients were included in the final analysis. Mean age was 62 ± 10 and 68% were male. Mean ejection fraction and median NT-proBNP were, respectively, 38.7 ± 14.3% and 1140 pg/mL (interquartile range 224.3–2810.3). The median LS for the entire population was 6.3 (2.5-41.2) kPa. LS correlated with NT-proBNP (r = 0.46; p < 0.0001), total bilirubin (r = 0.47; p < 0.001), direct bilirubin (r = 0.43; p = 0.0001), gama-glutamyl-transpeptidase (r = 0.54; p < 0.0001), and alkaline phosphatase (r = 0.39; p = 0.0004). A Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was performed and a cut point of 5.9 kPa showed sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 64.1% with area under the curve of 0.73. Using Cox proportional hazard model (independent variables: LS as a continuous variable, age, gender, NT-proBNP, LVEF, and creatinine), only LS was independently associated with the primary endpoint (hazard ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.09; for each increment of one unit of LS).

Conclusion

LS correlates with biomarkers of myocardial stretch and several liver function tests and is an independent predictor of outcomes in ambulatory patients with HF.

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