Classification of Heart Failure According to Ejection Fraction: JACC Review Topic of the Week

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Jun 29;77(25):3217-3225. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.04.070.


The recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded indication for sacubitril/valsartan introduces a new potential taxonomy for heart failure, with no reference to "preserved" ejection fraction but referring to "below normal" ejection fraction as those most likely to benefit. This review summarizes the evolution of nomenclature in heart failure and examines evidence showing that patients with ejection fraction in the "mid range" may benefit from neurohormonal blockade similar to those with more severely reduced (<40%) ejection fraction. Furthermore, prominent sex differences have been observed wherein the benefit of neurohormonal blockade appears to extend to a higher ejection fraction range in women compared to men. Based on emerging evidence, revised nomenclature is proposed defining heart failure with "reduced" (<40%), "mildly reduced," and "normal" (≥55% in men, ≥60% in women) ejection fraction. Such nomenclature signals consideration of potentially beneficial therapies in the largest group of patients with reduced or mildly reduced ejection fraction.

Keywords: ejection fraction; heart failure; preserved.

Publication types

  • Review