Utility of Pulmonary Hypertension for the Prediction of Heart Failure Following Acute Myocardial Infarction

Published:February 10, 2012DOI:
      Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is usually perceived as a complication of established heart failure (HF) rather than as a predictor of HF or a marker of subclinical HF. PH may develop because of cardiac alterations that result in increased filling pressures after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We hypothesized that PH might be a useful marker to predict the risk of HF after AMI. We studied 1,054 patients with AMI. Pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) was estimated using echocardiography at the index admission and PH was defined as a PASP >35 mm Hg. The primary end point was readmission for HF at 1 year. PH was present in 471 patients (44.6%) and was strongly associated with age, decreased ejection fraction, advanced diastolic dysfunction, and moderate/severe mitral regurgitation (p <0.0001 for all comparisons). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was significantly higher for estimated PASP (0.74 ± 0.02) compared to other echocardiographic parameters (p = 0.02 to 0.0003). After adjustments for clinical and echocardiographic variables in a Cox model, PH was associated with a hazard ratio of 3.10 for HF (95% confidence interval 1.31 to 2.57, p <0.0001). After adding estimated PASP to a model containing clinical and echocardiographic risk factors, net reclassification improvement was 0.21 (95% confidence interval 0.11 to 0.31, p <0.0001). In conclusion, PASP integrates the severity of multiple hemodynamic determinants of increased left atrial pressures that lead to an increase in pulmonary venous pressure. In AMI, PH at the index admission is a useful marker in unmasking latent subclinical HF and predicting the development of overt HF.
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