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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2004 Dec;23(12):1414-22.

Heart failure survival score continues to predict clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure receiving beta-blockers.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.



The Heart Failure Survival Score (HFSS) has been previously shown to effectively risk-stratify patients under evaluation for heart transplantation. However, this model was developed before broad use of beta blockade. We hypothesized that the prognostic tool would retain its ability to risk stratify patients treated with beta-blockers.


We collected clinical data on 524 consecutive patients referred for heart transplantation from 1994 to 2001. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariable Cox regression analysis were performed with events defined as death, left ventricular assist device placement, or United Network of Organ Sharing 1 heart transplantation.


Kaplan-Meier analysis of the patient population revealed effective discrimination by the survival score both for beta-blocker treated and untreated patients (both p <0.0001). Two-year event-free survival was 94% +/- 2% and 84% +/- 4% for beta-blocker and no beta-blocker patients in the low-risk HFSS strata. Cox proportional hazard modeling showed that HFSS strata (medium risk: HR 2.65, 95% CI 1.75-4.02, p <0.001; high risk: HR 5.51, 95% CI 3.64-8.33, p <0.001) and beta-blocker treatment (HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.31-0.64, p <0.001) were significant predictors of event-free survival. Receiver operating curves (area under the curve) for HFSS strata used to predict 2-year events were similar for beta-blocker treated (0.78 +/- 0.04) and untreated (0.80 +/- 0.03) patients.


The HFSS provides effective risk stratification with or without beta-blocker therapy. Consideration of beta-blocker therapy with survival score strata improves outcome prediction in patients evaluated for heart transplantation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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