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Kardiol Pol. 2013;71(7):712-20. doi: 10.5603/KP.2013.0158.

Cardiogenic pulmonary oedema: alarmingly poor long term prognosis. Analysis of risk factors.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.



Acute heart failure (AHF) is a life-threatening condition associated with poor prognosis.


To investigate the long term prognosis and identify prognostic factors among patients who were discharged after an episode of cardiogenic pulmonary oedema.


We enrolled 84 patients (M: 56%, n = 47) who were discharged with cardiogenic pulmonary oedema as a diagnosis. Clinical, biochemical and echocardiographic variables were collected and analysed. The completeness of two- and five-year follow-up was 100% and 96%, respectively.


The median (IQR) age was 74 years (64-81), left ventricular ejection fraction was 35% (27-45), blood pressure on admission was 140/90 mm Hg (115-180/70-100), estimated glomerular filtration rate was 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (45-73). Forty per cent (n = 34) of the patients had a history of atrial fibrillation (AF), however, AF was directly involved with pulmonary oedema only in 4% (n = 3) of the cases. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) accounted for 34% (n = 29) of all the causes of pulmonary oedema and was associated with a better two-year prognosis compared to other causes of pulmonary oedema (p = 0.018). Two- and five-year mortality was 45% (n = 38) and 72% (n = 58), respectively. Co-morbidities were common. Ischaemic heart disease and arterial hypertension were present in 83% and 70% of the patients, respectively. Multivariable analysis identified increased left ventricular mass (RR 3.609, 95% CI 1.235-10.547, p = 0.017) and treatment with long-acting vasodilator drugs (LAVDs) (RR 4.881, 95% CI 1.618-14.727, p = 0.004) as independent negative prognostic factors, whereas in-hospital therapy with beta-blockers created a distinctly protective effect (RR 0.123, 95% CI 0.033-0.457, p = 0.002) in the two-year follow-up. Five-year mortality was independently associated with older age (RR 1.08, 95% CI 1.02-1.14, p = 0.005) and treatment with LAVDs (RR 6.4, 95% CI 1.47-28.14, p = 0.012), while percutaneous coronary intervention (RR 0.17, 95% CI 0.05-0.58, p = 0.004) significantly decreased the risk.


AHF is a heterogeneous syndrome with a very high remote mortality. LAVDs administered during the hospital stay as well as older age on admission correlate with higher long-term overall mortality. In the age of percutaneous coronary intervention, AMI aetiology of pulmonary oedema is no longer a negative prognostic factor for the long-term prognosis.

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