Aortic Pulsatility Index: A Novel Hemodynamic Variable for Evaluation of Decompensated Heart Failure

J Card Fail. 2021 Oct;27(10):1045-1052. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.05.010. Epub 2021 May 25.


Background: Right heart catheterization for invasive hemodynamics has shown only modest correlation with clinical outcomes. We designed a novel hemodynamic variable that incorporates ventricular output and filling pressure. We anticipated that the aortic pulsatility index (API) would correlate with clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure.

Methods and results: We retrospectively analyzed consecutive patients undergoing right heart catheterization with milrinone drug study at our institution (February 2013 to November 2019). The API was calculated as (systolic blood pressure - diastolic blood pressure)/pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. The primary outcome was freedom from advanced therapies, defined as the need for inotropes, temporary mechanical circulatory support, a left ventricular assist device, or orthotopic heart transplantation, or death at 30 days. A total of 224 patient encounters, age 57 years (48-66 years; 34% women; 31% ischemic cardiomyopathy) were included. In univariable analysis, lower baseline API was significantly associated with progression to advanced therapies or death at 30-days (odds ratio 0.43, 95% confidence interval 0.30-0.61; P < .001) compared with those on continued medical management. Receiver operator characteristic analysis specified an optimal cutpoint of 1.45 for API. A Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated an association of API with the primary outcome (79% for API ≥ 1.45 vs 48% for API < 1.45). In multivariable analysis, higher API was strongly associated with freedom from advanced therapies or death (odds ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.22-0.65, P ≤ .001), even when adjusted for baseline characteristics and routine right heart catheterization measurements.

Conclusions: The API is a novel invasive hemodynamic measurement that is associated independently with freedom from advanced therapies or death at 30-day follow-up.

Keywords: Heart failure; cardiogenic shock; hemodynamics; outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure
  • Retrospective Studies