Effect of Acoustic Cardiography-guided Management on 1-year Outcomes in Patients With Acute Heart Failure

J Card Fail. 2020 Feb;26(2):142-150. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2019.09.012. Epub 2019 Sep 27.


Background: The electromechanical activation time (EMAT) normalized by cardiac cycle length (%EMAT) and the third heart sound (S3) strength, as measured by automated acoustic cardiography, are predictive of postdischarge adverse events in patients with acute heart failure (AHF). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the acoustic cardiography-guided management improves outcomes in patients with AHF when it is compared with the conventional therapy.

Methods and results: This prospective single-blind study randomized 225 patients with AHF (74.1 ± 14.5 years of age, 26.2% women, and left ventricular ejection fraction 38.4 ± 14.4%) before discharge to the EMAT-guided group (n = 114) with the postdischarge treatment goals to reduce %EMAT to < 15% and S3 < 5, and the symptom-guided group (n = 111) to adjust medications without knowledge of the results of acoustic cardiography. The primary endpoints were rehospitalization for heart failure and total mortality during 1-year follow-up. The 2 groups were well matched in age and predischarge %EMAT and S3 strength. After a mean follow-up period of 238.1 ± 140.8 days, a significant reduction in the primary endpoints was seen in the EMAT-guided group compared with the symptom-guided group (43 events vs 61 events, P = 0.0095). Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated significant differences in the time to first event, favoring the EMAT-guided group in the total study population (n = 225, hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval: 0.61, 0.42-0.91, log-rank P = 0.0129), as well as in the prespecified subgroup of patients with predischarge %EMAT > 15% (n = 85; 0.32, 0.16-0.65, P = 0.0008).

Conclusions: In patients hospitalized due to AHF, EMAT-guided postdischarge management was superior to the conventional symptoms-driven therapy in terms of 1-year outcomes (ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01298232).

Keywords: Heart sounds; acoustic cardiogram; acute heart failure; systolic time intervals.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease Management*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sound*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01298232