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Eur Heart J. 2018 Jan 1;39(1):39-46. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehx402.

Refining the prognostic impact of functional mitral regurgitation in chronic heart failure.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine II, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.
Department of Medicine IV, Kaiser Franz Josef Spital, Kundratstraße 3, 1100 Wien, Vienna, Austira.
FH Campus Wien and Complexity Research, Favoritenstrasse 226, 1100 Wien, Vienna, Austria.



Significant efforts are currently undertaken to reduce functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) in patients with chronic heart failure in the hope to improve prognosis. We aimed to assess the prognostic impact of FMR in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) under optimal medical therapy (OMT) and various conditions of HFrEF. We further intended to identify a heart failure phenotype, where FMR is most likely a driving force and not a mere bystander of the disease.

Methods and results:

We prospectively included 576 consecutive HFrEF patients into our long-term observational study. Functional [i.e. New York Heart Association (NYHA) class], echocardiographic, invasive haemodynamic, and biochemical (i.e. NT-proBNP, MR-proANP, MR-proADM, CT-proET-1, copeptin) measurements were performed at baseline. During a median follow-up of 62 months (interquartile range 52-76), 47% of patients died. Severe FMR was a significant predictor of mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.34-2.30; P < 0.001], independent of clinical (adjusted HR 1.61, 95% CI 1.22-2.12; P = 0.001), and echocardiographic (adjusted HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.09-1.94; P = 0.01) confounders, OMT (adjusted HR 1.81, 95% CI 1.25-2.63; P = 0.002), and neurohumoral activation (adjusted HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.03-1.84; P = 0.03). Subanalysis revealed that severe FMR was associated with poor outcome in an intermediate-failure phenotype of HFrEF i.e. patients with NYHA class II (adjusted HR 2.17, 95% CI 1.07-4.44; P = 0.03) and III (adjusted HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.17-2.77; P = 0.008), moderately reduced left ventricular function (adjusted HR 2.37, 95% CI 1.36-4.12; P = 0.002), and within the second quartile (871-2360 pg/mL) of NT-proBNP (adjusted HR 2.16, 95% CI 1.22-3.86; P = 0.009).


In a patient cohort under OMT, the adverse prognostic impact of FMR is given predominantly in a sub-cohort of a specific intermediate-failure phenotype-well-defined functionally, haemodynamically, biochemically, and morphologically.


Functional mitral regurgitation; HFrEF; Prognosis


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