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Eur J Heart Fail. 2006 Nov;8(7):697-705. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Clinical profile, contemporary management and one-year mortality in patients with severe acute heart failure syndromes: The EFICA study.

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Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Nancy, France.



Little is known about the epidemiology of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) in patients admitted to intensive and coronary care units (ICU/CCU). Observational data may improve disease management and guide the design of clinical trials.


EFICA is an observational study of the clinical profile, management and survival of ADHF patients admitted to ICU/CCU.


The study included 599 patients admitted to 60 ICU/CCUs across France. Relevant data was recorded during hospitalisation. Survival was assessed at 4 weeks and 1 year.


The main cause of ADHF was ischaemic heart disease (61%); 29% of patients had cardiogenic shock. Mortality was 27.4% at 4 weeks and 46.5% at 1 year, increasing to 43.2% and 62.5%, respectively, when including pre-admission deaths. Shock patients had the highest [57.8% vs. 15.2% without shock (p < 0.001)] and patients with hypertension and pulmonary oedema had the lowest 4-week mortality: (7%). Pre-admission NYHA class III-IV heart failure, not initial clinical presentation, influenced 1-year mortality.


ADHF is a heterogeneous syndrome. Based on initial clinical presentation, three entities with distinct features and outcome may be described: cardiogenic shock, pulmonary oedema with hypertension, and 'decompensated' chronic heart failure. This should be taken into account in future observational studies, guidelines and clinical trials.

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