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Prognostic implication of lung ultrasound in heart failure: pooled analysis of international cohorts.

BACKGROUND: Lung ultrasound (LUS) is often used to assess congestion in heart failure (HF). In this study, we assessed the prognostic role of LUS in HF patients at admission and hospital discharge, and in an out-patient setting and explored whether clinical factors (age, sex, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and atrial fibrillation) impact the prognostic value of LUS findings. Further, we assessed the incremental prognostic value of LUS on top of AHEAD and MAGGIC clinical risk scores.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We pooled data of patients hospitalized for HF or followed-up in out-patient clinics from international cohorts. We enrolled 1,947 patients, at admission (n=578), discharge (n=389) and in out-patient clinic (n=980). Total LUS B-line count was calculated for the 8-zone scanning protocol. The primary outcome was a composite of re-hospitalization for HF and all-cause death. Compared to those in the lower tertiles of B-lines, patients in the highest tertile were older, more likely to have signs of HF and higher NT-proBNP levels. A higher number of B-lines was associated with increased risk of primary outcome at discharge (Tertile3 vs Tertile1: adjustedHR= 5.74 (3.26- 10.12), p<0.0001) and in out-patients (Tertile3 vs Tertile1: adjustedHR= 2.66 (1.08- 6.54), p=0.033). Age and LVEF did not influence the prognostic capacity of LUS in different clinical settings. Adding B-line count to MAGGIC and AHEAD scores improved net reclassification significantly in all three clinical settings.

CONCLUSION: A higher number of B-lines in patients with HF was associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality, regardless of the clinical setting.

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