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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Apr 5;45(7):1064-71.

Echocardiographic predictors of morbidity and mortality in patients with advanced heart failure: the Beta-blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST).

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Echocardiographic Core Laboratory, Baylor University Medical Center, 621 North Hall Street, Dallas, TX, 75226.



The aim of this study was to determine echocardiographic predictors of outcome in patients with advanced heart failure (HF) due to severe left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction in the Beta-blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST).


Previous studies indicate that echocardiographic measurements of LV size and function, mitral deceleration time, and mitral regurgitation (MR) predict adverse outcomes in HF. However, complete quantitative echocardiograms evaluating all of these parameters have not been reported in a prospective randomized clinical trial in the era of modern HF therapy.


Complete echocardiograms were performed in 336 patients at 26 sites and analyzed by a core laboratory. A Cox proportional-hazards regression model was used to determine which echocardiographic variables predicted the primary end point of death or the secondary end point of death, HF hospitalization, or transplant. Significant variables were then entered into a multivariable model adjusted for clinical and demographic covariates.


On multivariable analysis adjusted for clinical covariates, only LV end-diastolic volume index predicted death (events = 75), with a cut point of 120 ml/m(2). Three echocardiographic variables predicted the combined end point of death (events = 75), HF hospitalization (events = 97), and transplant (events = 9): LV end-diastolic volume index, mitral deceleration time, and the vena contracta width of MR. Optimal cut points for these variables were 120 ml/m(2), 150 ms, and 0.4 cm, respectively.


Echocardiographic predictors of outcome in advanced HF include LV end-diastolic volume index, mitral deceleration time, and vena contracta width. These variables indicate that LV remodeling, increased LV stiffness, and MR are independent predictors of outcome in patients with advanced HF.

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