Device-detected congestion is associated with worse patient-reported outcomes in heart failure

Heart Lung. May-Jun 2019;48(3):208-214. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2018.12.003. Epub 2019 Jan 2.


Background: Congestion is a common cause of symptoms in heart failure (HF). Yet, intrathoracic impedance, an objective marker of cardiopulmonary congestion, has not been examined in relation to HF symptoms.

Objective: To determine whether device-detected cardiopulmonary congestion is a predictor of physical and psychological symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adults with HF over 3 months.

Methods: Multivariate generalized linear modeling was used to quantify the association of cardiopulmonary congestion (Optivol® Index exceeding 60 Ω threshold) with HRQOL (12-item Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire) and both physical symptoms (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue Scale; HF Somatic Perception Scale Dyspnea and Early & Subtle Symptoms subscales) and affective symptoms (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire; 6-item Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Anxiety Scale).

Results: The mean age of the sample (n = 49) was 62years old, 39% were women, and 63% had NYHA class III/IV HF. Participants who experienced threshold crossings in the previous 90days reported on average, 130% higher dyspnea (p = 0.017; confidence interval (CI) 10.2%, 437%), 40% higher early & subtle symptoms (p = 0.029; CI 3.4%, 89.7%), 106% higher depressive symptoms (p = 0.003; CI 19.1%, 257%) and 40% higher anxiety (p = 0.028; CI 3.7%, 89.1%). Threshold crossings in the previous 90days were also significantly associated with a clinically meaningful decrease in HRQOL (β = -16.16 ± 6.32; p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Intrathoracic impedance measured with the Optivol Index can provide additional information regarding the patient experience of hallmark physical and psychological HF symptoms and HRQOL over 3months.

Keywords: Heart failure; Intrathoracic impedance; Pulmonary congestion; Quality of life; Symptom.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Cardiography, Impedance / methods*
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis*
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies