Assessment of bendopnea impact on decompensated heart failure

Eur J Heart Fail. 2017 Jan;19(1):111-115. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.610. Epub 2016 Jul 18.


Aims: We have often found that patients with heart failure had shortness of breath when bending forward. The frequency of bendopnea in patients with decompensated heart failure (DHF), its repercussions on quality of life (QoL), and its prognosis have not yet been studied. This study was carried out to evaluate the characteristics, degree of limitation, and short-term prognosis of patients with bendopnea and DHF.

Methods and results: We conducted a study of 250 patients admitted with DHF. Bendopnea was considered when shortness of breath occurred within 30 s of bending forward. It was present in 122 patients (48.8%). The mean time of onset was 13.4 ± 6.9 s. Patients with bendopnea presented a higher frequency of orthopnoea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea, oliguria, oedema, elevated jugular venous pressure, abdominal fullness, and worse functional class (P < 0.001). An enlargement of both atria was more frequent in these patients (P < 0.001). Pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) was higher in the bendopnea group (P = 0.001). Body mass index and LVEF were not associated with presence of bendopnea. Subjective QoL limitation was present in 80.3% (36.1% mild, 44.2% moderate to severe limitation). Patients with bendopnea had a higher mortality rate (P = 0.025) and more advanced NYHA class (P < 0.001). Patients who died had a lower LVEF (P = 0.001), increased PASP (P = 0.08), and lower mean duration of shortness of breath than those who survived (P = 0.01).

Conclusion: Bendopnea is related to advanced HF symptoms and it is associated with mortality in the short term and advanced NYHA functional class. This symptom produces moderate to severe limitation of QoL.

Keywords: Bendopnea; Decompensated heart failure; Mortality; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease Progression
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Oliguria / etiology
  • Posture*
  • Pressure
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Artery
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke Volume
  • Systole