Assessing the Risk of Progression From Asymptomatic Left Ventricular Dysfunction to Overt Heart Failure: A Systematic Overview and Meta-Analysis

JACC Heart Fail. 2016 Apr;4(4):237-48. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2015.09.015. Epub 2015 Dec 9.


Objectives: This study sought to provide estimates of the risk of progression to overt heart failure (HF) from systolic or diastolic asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Background: Precise population-based estimates on the progression from asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction (or stage B HF) to clinical HF (stage C HF) remain limited, despite its prognostic and clinical implications. Pre-emptive intervention with neurohormonal modulation may attenuate disease progression.

Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were systematically searched (until March 2015). Cohort studies reporting on the progression from asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction (ALVSD) or asymptomatic left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (ALVDD) to overt HF were included. Effect estimates (prevalence, incidence, and relative risk) were pooled using a random-effects model meta-analysis, separately for systolic and diastolic dysfunction, with heterogeneity assessed with the I(2) statistic.

Results: Thirteen reports based on 11 distinct studies of progression of ALVSD were included in the meta-analysis assessing a total of 25,369 participants followed for 7.9 years on average. The absolute risks of progression to HF were 8.4 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.0 to 12.8 per 100 person-years) for those with ALVSD, 2.8 per 100 person-years (95% CI: 1.9 to 3.7 per 100 person-years) for those with ALVDD, and 1.04 per 100 person-years (95% CI: 0.0 to 2.2 per 100 person-years) without any ventricular dysfunction evident. The combined maximally adjusted relative risk of HF for ALVSD was 4.6 (95% CI: 2.2 to 9.8), and that of ALVDD was 1.7 (95% CI: 1.3 to 2.2).

Conclusions: ALVSD and ALVDD are each associated with a substantial risk for incident HF indicating an imperative to develop effective intervention at these stages.

Keywords: asymptomatic; diastolic dysfunction; heart failure; systolic dysfunction; ventricular dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Diastole
  • Disease Progression
  • Global Health
  • Heart Failure* / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure* / etiology
  • Heart Failure* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Systole
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left* / complications
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left* / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left* / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function / physiology*