Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that diastolic dysfunction (DD) was an important predictor of cardiovascular (CV) death or heart failure (HF) hospitalization in a subset of patients (ejection fraction [EF] >40%) in the CHARM-Preserved study.
Background: More than 40% of hospitalized patients with HF have preserved systolic function (HF-PSF), suggesting that DD may be responsible for the clinical manifestations of HF.
Methods: Patients underwent Doppler echocardiographic examination that included assessment of pulmonary venous flow or determination of plasma NT-pro-brain natriuretic peptide > or months after randomization to candesartan or placebo. The patients were classified into 1 of 4 diastolic function groups: normal, relaxation abnormality (mild dysfunction), pseudonormal (moderate dysfunction), and restrictive (severe dysfunction).
Results: There were 312 patients in the study, mean age was 66 +/- 11 years, EF was 50 +/- 10%, and 34% were women. The median follow-up was 18.7 months. Diastolic dysfunction was found in 67% of classified patients (n = 293), and moderate and severe DD were identified in 44%. Moderate and severe DD had a poor outcome compared with normal and mild DD (18% vs. 5%, p < 0.01). Diastolic dysfunction, age, diabetes, previous HF, and atrial fibrillation were univariate predictors of outcome. In multivariate analysis, moderate (hazard ratio [HR] 3.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2 to 11.1) and severe DD (HR 5.7, 95% CI 1.4 to 24.0) remained the only independent predictors (p = 0.003).
Conclusions: Objective evidence of DD was found in two-thirds of HF-PSF patients. Moderate and severe DD, which were found in less than one-half of the patients, were important predictors of adverse outcome. The results demonstrate the prognostic significance and need for objective evidence of DD in HF-PSF patients.