Combined use of lung ultrasound, B-type natriuretic peptide, and echocardiography for outcome prediction in patients with acute HFrEF and HFpEF

Alberto Palazzuoli, Gaetano Ruocco, Matteo Beltrami, Ranuccio Nuti, John G Cleland
Clinical Research in Cardiology: Official Journal of the German Cardiac Society 2018, 107 (7): 586-596

BACKGROUND: Lung ultrasound (LUS) can be used to assess pulmonary congestion by imaging B-lines ('comets') for patients with acute heart failure (AHF).

OBJECTIVES: Investigate relationship of B-lines, plasma concentrations of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), and echocardiographic left ventricular (LV) function measured at admission and discharge and their relationship to prognosis for AHF with preserved (HFpEF) or reduced (HFrEF) LV ejection fraction.

METHODS: Patients with AHF had the above tests done at admission and discharge. The primary outcome was re-hospitalization for heart failure or death at 6 months.

RESULTS: Of 162 patients enrolled, 95 had HFrEF and 67 had HFpEF, median age was 80 [77-85] years, and 85 (52%) were women. The number of B-lines at admission (median 31 [27-36]) correlated with respiratory rate (r = 0.75; p < 0.001), BNP (r = 0.43; p < 0.001), clinical congestion score (r = 0.25; p = 0.001), and systolic pulmonary artery pressure (r = 0.42; p < 0.001). At discharge, B-lines were also correlated with BNP (r = 0.69; p < 0.001) and congestion score (r = 0.57; p < 0.001). B-line count at discharge predicted outcome (AUC 0.83 [0.77-0.90]; univariate HR 1.12 [1.09-1.16]; p < 0.001; multivariable HR 1.16 [1.11-1.21]; p < 0.001). Results were similar for HFpEF and HFrEF.

CONCLUSIONS: LUS appears a useful method to assess severity and monitor the resolution of lung congestion. At hospital admission, B-lines are strongly related to respiratory rate, which may be a key component of the sensation of dyspnea. Measurement of lung congestion at discharge provides prognostic information for patients with either HFpEF or HFrEF.

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