Risk stratification in heart failure with mild reduced ejection fraction.

Magrì D; Gallo G; Parati G; Cicoira M; Senni M;

European journal of preventive cardiology [Eur J Prev Cardiol] 2020 Dec; Vol. 27 (2_suppl), pp. 59-64.

Heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction represents a heterogeneous and relatively young heart failure category accounting for nearly 20-30% of the overall heart failure population. Due to its complex phenotype, a reliable clinical picture of heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction patients as well as a definite risk stratification are still relevant unsolved issues. In such a context, there is growing interest in a comprehensive functional assessment by means of a cardiopulmonary exercise test, yet considered a cornerstone in the clinical management of patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. Indeed, the cardiopulmonary exercise test has also been found to be particularly useful in the heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction category, several cardiopulmonary exercise test-derived parameters being associated with a poor outcome. In particular, a recent contribution by the metabolic exercise combined with cardiac and kidney indexes research group showed an independent association between the peak oxygen uptake and pure cardiovascular mortality in a large cohort of recovered heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction patients. Contextually, the same study supplied an easy approach to identify a high-risk heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction subset by using a combination of peak oxygen uptake and ventilatory efficiency cut-off values, namely 55% of the maximum predicted and 31, respectively. Thus, looking at the above-mentioned promising results and waiting for specific trials, it is reasonable to consider cardiopulmonary exercise test assessment as part of the heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction work-up in order to identify those patients with an unfavourable functional profile who probably deserve a close clinical follow-up and, probably, more aggressive therapeutic strategies.