Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine whether biomarkers of myocardial stress and fibrosis improve prediction of the mode of death in patients with chronic heart failure.
Background: The 2 most common modes of death in patients with chronic heart failure are pump failure and sudden cardiac death. Prediction of the mode of death may facilitate treatment decisions. The relationship between amino-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), galectin-3, and ST2, biomarkers that reflect different pathogenic pathways in heart failure (myocardial stress and fibrosis), and mode of death is unknown.
Methods: HF-ACTION (Heart Failure: A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training) was a randomized controlled trial of exercise training versus usual care in patients with chronic heart failure due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35%). An independent clinical events committee prospectively adjudicated mode of death. NT-proBNP, galectin-3, and ST2 levels were assessed at baseline in 813 subjects. Associations between biomarkers and mode of death were assessed using cause-specific Cox proportional hazards modeling, and interaction testing was used to measure differential associations between biomarkers and pump failure versus sudden cardiac death. Discrimination and risk reclassification metrics were used to assess the added value of galectin-3 and ST2 in predicting mode of death risk beyond a clinical model that included NT-proBNP.
Results: After a median follow-up period of 2.5 years, there were 155 deaths: 49 from pump failure, 42 from sudden cardiac death, and 64 from other causes. Elevations in all biomarkers were associated with increased risk for both pump failure and sudden cardiac death in both adjusted and unadjusted analyses. In each case, increases in the biomarker had a stronger association with pump failure than sudden cardiac death, but this relationship was attenuated after adjustment for clinical risk factors. Clinical variables along with NT-proBNP levels were stronger predictors of pump failure (C statistic: 0.87) than sudden cardiac death (C statistic: 0.73). Addition of ST2 and galectin-3 led to improved net risk classification of 11% for sudden cardiac death, but not pump failure.
Conclusions: Clinical predictors along with NT-proBNP levels were strong predictors of pump failure risk, with insignificant incremental contributions of ST2 and galectin-3. Predictability of sudden cardiac death risk was less robust and enhanced by information provided by novel biomarkers.
Keywords: biomarker; heart failure; mode of death; prognosis.
Copyright © 2014 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.