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Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio and Outcomes in Patients Admitted for Acute Heart Failure (As Seen in the BLAST-AHF, Pre-RELAX-AHF, and RELAX-AHF Studies)

      Previous studies have suggested that the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a novel yet readily evaluable inflammatory biomarker that may be useful for determining cardiovascular prognosis during acute episodes. The study investigated the role of NLR in predicting cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in patients with acute heart failure (HF). Individual patient data from the BLAST-AHF (phase 2b study of the biased ligand of the angiotensin 2 type 1 receptor, TRV027), Pre-RELAX-AHF (phase 2b study of recombinant human relaxin-2, serelaxin), and RELAX-AHF (phase 3 study of serelaxin) randomized, placebo-controlled studies for patients with acute HF were pooled for analysis. Dyspnea visual analog scale area under the curve through day 5, worsening HF through day 5, 30-day all-cause mortality, 60-day HF/renal failure rehospitalizations or CV death, 180-day all-cause mortality, and 180-day CV death were assessed. There were several differences in the baseline characteristics of the patients divided by NLR tertile, with patients in the higher NLR having worse clinical characteristics. NLR was an independent predictor of 30-day all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] per log2 NLR increment: 1.66 [1.22 to 2.25], p = 0.001), 60-day HF/renal failure rehospitalizations or CV death: 1.33 [1.12 to 1.57], p = 0.001), 180-day all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 1.27 [1.08 to 1.50], p = 0.003), and 180-day CV death (adjusted HR 1.24 [1.04 to 1.49], p = 0.018). NLR, a readily available inflammatory biomarker, was associated with independent risk for short- and long-term adverse outcomes in acute HF, surpassing traditional markers, such as natriuretic peptides.
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