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J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Nov 5;8(21):e013584. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.013584. Epub 2019 Oct 19.

Doppler-Derived Renal Venous Stasis Index in the Prognosis of Right Heart Failure.

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Division of Nephrology Department of Internal Medicine II University Hospital Giessen and Marburg Giessen Germany.
Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine Department of Internal Medicine II University Hospital Giessen and Marburg Giessen Germany.
International Renal Research Institute of Vicenza Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation San Bortolo Hospital Vicenza Italy.
Member of the German Centre for Lung Research (DZL) Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Centre (UGMLC) Giessen Germany.
Department of Public Health Erasmus MC Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Biomedical Data Sciences Medical Statistics and Medical Decision Making Leiden University Medical Center Leiden The Netherlands.
Department of Internal Medicine I Division of Cardiology and Angiology University Hospital Giessen and Marburg Giessen Germany.
Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research Bad Nauheim Germany.
Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas TX.
Department of Epidemiology Erasmus MC Rotterdam The Netherlands.
Department of Pulmonology Kerckhoff-Klinik Nauheim Germany.


Background Persistent congestion with deteriorating renal function is an important cause of adverse outcomes in heart failure. We aimed to characterize new approaches to evaluate renal congestion using Doppler ultrasonography. Methods and Results We enrolled 205 patients with suspected or prediagnosed pulmonary hypertension (PH) undergoing right heart catheterization. Patients underwent renal Doppler ultrasonography and assessment of invasive cardiopulmonary hemodynamics, echocardiography, renal function, intra-abdominal pressure, and neurohormones and hydration status. Four spectral Doppler intrarenal venous flow patterns and a novel renal venous stasis index (RVSI) were defined. We evaluated PH-related morbidity using the Cox proportional hazards model for the composite end point of PH progression (hospitalization for worsening PH, lung transplantation, or PH-specific therapy escalation) and all-cause mortality for 1-year after discharge. The prognostic utility of RVSI and intrarenal venous flow patterns was compared using receiver operating characteristic curves. RVSI increased in a graded fashion across increasing severity of intrarenal venous flow patterns (P<0.0001) and was significantly associated with right heart and renal function, intra-abdominal pressure, and neurohormonal and hydration status. During follow-up, the morbidity/mortality end point occurred in 91 patients and was independently predicted by RVSI (RVSI in the third tertile versus referent: hazard ratio: 4.72 [95% CI, 2.10-10.59; P<0.0001]). Receiver operating characteristic curves suggested superiority of RVSI to individual intrarenal venous flow patterns in predicting outcome (areas under the curve: 0.789 and 0.761, respectively; P=0.038). Conclusions We propose RVSI as a conceptually new and integrative Doppler index of renal congestion. RVSI provides additional prognostic information to stratify PH for the propensity to develop right heart failure. Clinical Trial Registration URL: Unique identifier: NCT03039959.


cardiorenal syndromes; intrarenal venous flow patterns; pulmonary hypertension; renal Doppler ultrasonography; venous congestion

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