Beta-adrenergic contractile reserve as a predictor of clinical outcome in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

Am Heart J. 1992 Sep;124(3):679-85. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(92)90278-4.


To examine the ability of beta-adrenergic contractile reserve assessment to predict the outcome of patients with heart failure, a prospective study was undertaken in 35 patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and radionuclide ejection fraction below 40%. During right- and left-sided catheterization, right atrial and left ventricular (LV) pressures, peak positive LV dp/dt, cardiac index, and plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine concentrations were measured at baseline. After a left main intracoronary infusion of dobutamine (25 to 200 micrograms.min-1), beta-adrenergic contractile responsiveness was assessed as the net increase in peak positive LV dp/dt (delta LV dp/dt). After the initial examination, patients were treated with diuretics, digitalis, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and then followed-up. After a mean follow-up period of 13 +/- 7 months, two groups of patients were distinguished: those who responded to medical therapy (group A, n = 26) and those with clinical deterioration (group B, n = 9) leading to death (n = 4) or heart transplantation (n = 5). Initial peak positive LV dp/dt, LV end-diastolic pressure, cardiac index, and LV ejection fraction were better in group A than in group B (p less than 0.001). Initial plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine concentrations were significantly higher and delta LV dp/dt was lower in group B than in group A (p less than 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / blood
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / physiopathology*
  • Dobutamine
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Contraction* / drug effects
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left


  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Dobutamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine