Machine Learning-Derived Echocardiographic Phenotypes Predict Heart Failure Incidence in Asymptomatic Individuals

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Sep 8;S1936-878X(21)00556-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2021.07.004. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: This study sought to identify homogenous echocardiographic phenotypes in community-based cohorts and assess their association with outcomes.

Background: Asymptomatic cardiac dysfunction leads to a high risk of long-term cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; however, better echocardiographic classification of asymptomatic individuals remains a challenge.

Methods: Echocardiographic phenotypes were identified using K-means clustering in the first generation of the STANISLAS (Yearly non-invasive follow-up of Health status of Lorraine insured inhabitants) cohort (N = 827; mean age: 60 ± 5 years; men: 48%), and their associations with vascular function and circulating biomarkers were also assessed. These phenotypes were externally validated in the Malmö Preventive Project cohort (N = 1,394; mean age: 67 ± 6 years; men: 70%), and their associations with the composite of cardiovascular mortality (CVM) or heart failure hospitalization (HFH) were assessed as well.

Results: Three echocardiographic phenotypes were identified as "mostly normal (MN)" (n = 334), "diastolic changes (D)" (n = 323), and "diastolic changes with structural remodeling (D/S)" (n = 170). The D and D/S phenotypes had similar ages, body mass indices, cardiovascular risk factors, vascular impairments, and diastolic function changes. The D phenotype consisted mainly of women and featured increased levels of inflammatory biomarkers, whereas the D/S phenotype, consisted predominantly of men, displayed the highest values of left ventricular mass, volume, and remodeling biomarkers. The phenotypes were predicted based on a simple algorithm including e', left ventricular mass and volume (e'VM algorithm). In the Malmö cohort, subgroups derived from e'VM algorithm were significantly associated with a higher risk of CVM and HFH (adjusted HR in the D phenotype = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.04 to 3.37; adjusted HR in the D/S phenotype = 3.02; 95% CI: 1.71 to 5.34).

Conclusions: Among asymptomatic, middle-aged individuals, echocardiographic data-driven classification based on the simple e'VM algorithm identified profiles with different long-term HF risk. (4th Visit at 17 Years of Cohort STANISLAS-Stanislas Ancillary Study ESCIF [STANISLASV4]; NCT01391442).

Keywords: biomarkers; cardiovascular diseases; cluster analysis; echocardiogram; heart failure; machine learning; prognosis.

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