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BMJ Open. 2016 Oct 6;6(10):e012888. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012888.

Diagnostic rules and algorithms for the diagnosis of non-acute heart failure in patients 80 years of age and older: a diagnostic accuracy and validation study.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven (KUL), Leuven, Belgium.
2
Institute of Health and Society, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium.
3
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Universitair Ziekenhuis Gasthuisberg, KU Leuven (KUL), Leuven, Belgium.
4
Laboratory of Analytical Biochemistry, Cliniques Universitaires St Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium.
5
Department of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Different diagnostic algorithms for non-acute heart failure (HF) exist. Our aim was to compare the ability of these algorithms to identify HF in symptomatic patients aged 80 years and older and identify those patients at highest risk for mortality.

DESIGN:

Diagnostic accuracy and validation study.

SETTING:

General practice, Belgium.

PARTICIPANTS:

365 patients with HF symptoms aged 80 years and older (BELFRAIL cohort). Participants underwent a full clinical assessment, including a detailed echocardiographic examination at home.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The diagnostic accuracy of 4 different algorithms was compared using an intention-to-diagnose analysis. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) definition of HF was used as the reference standard for HF diagnosis. Kaplan-Meier curves for 5-year all-cause mortality were plotted and HRs and corresponding 95% CIs were calculated to compare the mortality risk predicting abilities of the different algorithms. Net reclassification improvement (NRI) was calculated.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of HF was 20% (n=74). The 2012 ESC algorithm yielded the highest sensitivity (92%, 95% CI 83% to 97%) as well as the highest referral rate (71%, n=259), whereas the Oudejans algorithm yielded the highest specificity (73%, 95% CI 68% to 78%) and the lowest referral rate (36%, n=133). These differences could be ascribed to differences in N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide cut-off values (125 vs 400 pg/mL). The Kelder and Oudejans algorithms exhibited NRIs of 12% (95% CI 0.7% to 22%, p=0.04) and 22% (95% CI 9% to 32%, p<0.001), respectively, compared with the ESC algorithm. All algorithms detected patients at high risk for mortality (HR 1.9, 95% CI 1.4 to 2.5; Kelder) to 2.3 (95% CI 1.7 to 3.1; Oudejans). No significant differences were observed among the algorithms with respect to mortality risk predicting abilities.

CONCLUSIONS:

Choosing a diagnostic algorithm for non-acute HF in elderly patients represents a trade-off between sensitivity and specificity, mainly depending on differences between cut-off values for natriuretic peptides.

KEYWORDS:

GERIATRIC MEDICINE; PRIMARY CARE

PMID:
27855108
PMCID:
PMC5073666
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012888
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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