Serum cholinesterase as a prognostic biomarker for acute heart failure

Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care. 2021 Jan 18;zuaa043. doi: 10.1093/ehjacc/zuaa043. Online ahead of print.


Aims: The association between serum cholinesterase and prognosis in acute heart failure (AHF) remains to be elucidated. We investigated the serum cholinesterase level at discharge from hospitalization for AHF and its association with clinical outcomes in patients with AHF.

Methods and results: Among 4056 patients enrolled in the Kyoto Congestive Heart Failure multicentre registry, we analysed 2228 patients with available serum cholinesterase data. The study population was classified into three groups according to serum cholinesterase level at discharge: low tertile (<180 U/L, N = 733), middle tertile (≥180 U/L and <240 U/L, N = 746), and high tertile (≥240 U/L, N = 749). Patients in the low tertile had higher tricuspid pressure gradient, greater inferior vena cava diameter, and higher brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels than those in the high tertile. The cumulative 1-year incidence of the primary outcome measure (a composite endpoint of all-cause death and hospitalization for HF) was higher in the low and middle tertiles than in the high tertile [46.5% (low tertile) and 31.4% (middle tertile) vs. 22.1% (high tertile), P < 0.0001]. After adjustment for 26 variables, the excess risk of the low tertile relative to the high tertile for the primary outcome measure remained significant (hazard ratio 1.37, 95% confidence interval 1.10-1.70, P = 0.006). Restricted cubic spline models below the median of cholinesterase demonstrated incrementally higher hazards at low cholinesterase levels.

Conclusions: Low serum cholinesterase levels are associated with congestive findings on echocardiography, higher BNP, and higher risks for a composite of all-cause death and HF hospitalization in patients with AHF.

Keywords: Cholinesterase; Heart failure; Liver; Prognosis.