International validation of the Metabolic Exercise test data combined with Cardiac and Kidney Indexes (MECKI) score in heart failure

S. Adamopoulos, D. Miliopoulos, E. Piotrowicz, J. A. Snoek, N. Panagopoulou, S. Nanas, et al.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2023 Vol. 30 Issue 13 Pages 1371-1379

AIMS: Current European heart failure (HF) guidelines suggest the use of risk score: among them, the Metabolic Exercise test data combined with Cardiac and Kidney Indexes (MECKI) score has demonstrated to be one of the most accurate. However, the risk scores are still poorly implemented in clinical practice, also due to the lack of strong evidence regarding their external validation in different populations. Thus, the current study was designed as an external validation test of the MECKI score in an international multicentre setting.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The study cohort consisted of patients diagnosed with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) across international centres (not Italian), retrospectively recruited. Collected data included demographics, HF aetiology, laboratory testing, electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiographic findings, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) results as described in the original MECKI score publication. A total of 1042 patients across 8 international centres (7 European and 1 Asian) were included and followed up from 1998 till 2019. Patients were divided according to the calculated MECKI scores into three subgroups: (i) MECKI score <10%, (ii) 10-20%, and (iii) >/= 20%. Survival analysis comparison among the three MECKI score subgroups showed a worse prognosis in patients with higher MECKI score value: median event-free survival times were 4396 days for MECKI score <10%, 3457 days for 10-20%, and 1022 days for >/=20% (P < 0.0001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and area under the ROC curves (AUC) were like those reported in the original internal validation studies.

CONCLUSION: In patients diagnosed with HFrEF, the power of the MECKI score was confirmed in terms of prognosis and risk stratification, supporting its implementation as advised by the HF guidelines.
In patients diagnosed with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, the Metabolic Exercise test data combined with Cardiac and Kidney Indexes (MECKI) risk score underwent an external validation. The MECKI score prognostic power was confirmed in a large population of patients from Europe and Asia. These data support MECKI score implementation, as advised by the 2021 European heart failure guidelines.