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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2005 Mar;24(3):303-9.

The prognostic use of right heart catheterization data in patients with advanced heart failure: how relevant are invasive procedures in the risk stratification of advanced heart failure in the era of neurohormones?

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.



Right heart catheterization long has been a routine investigation in advanced heart failure, and its measurements have been linked variably to prognosis. However, in the modern era, newer potential markers of prognosis are coming to light. This study reconsiders the use of right heart catheterization data and compares their use to that of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a neurohormone linked with prognosis in chronic heart failure.


We assessed prospectively the prognostic potential of baseline right heart catheterization data in 97 consecutive patients with advanced heart failure referred to the Scottish Cardiopulmonary Transplant Unit for consideration of cardiac transplantation. Patients underwent baseline routine investigation, including right heart catheterization and blood draws for NT-proBNP analysis. Patients were observed for a median of 370 days.


The primary end-point of all-cause mortality was reached in 17 patients (17.5%), and the secondary end-point of all-cause mortality or urgent cardiac transplantation was reached in 21 (21.6%) patients. Univariate predictors of all-cause mortality included pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP), pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP), and NT-proBNP concentration greater than their median values. Univariate predictors of the secondary end-point included right atrial pressure, PASP, PAWP, and NT-proBNP concentration greater than their median values, and left ventricular ejection fraction, cardiac output, and cardiac index less than their median values. In multivariate analyses, however, only NT-proBNP concentration remained an independent predictor of all-cause mortality. Both NT-proBNP concentration and PAWP were independent predictors of all-cause mortality and of the need for urgent cardiac transplantation.


Baseline data from routine right heart catheterization are of limited prognostic use in advanced heart failure. A baseline NT-proBNP concentration is a superior, non-invasive method of risk stratification in this era of measuring neurohormones.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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