Diastolic function is associated with quality of life and exercise capacity in stable heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction


Exercise capacity and quality of life (QOL) are important outcome predictors in patients with systolic heart failure (HF), independent of left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (LVEF). LV diastolic function has been shown to be a better predictor of aerobic exercise capacity in patients with systolic dysfunction and a New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification >II. We hypothesized that the currently used index of diastolic function E/e' is associated with exercise capacity and QOL, even in optimally treated HF patients with reduced LVEF. This prospective study included 44 consecutive patients aged 55±11 years (27 men and 17 women), with LVEF,0.50 and NYHA functional class I-III, receiving optimal pharmacological treatment and in a stable clinical condition, as shown by the absence of dyspnea exacerbation for at least 3 months. All patients had conventional transthoracic echocardiography and answered the Minnesota Living with HF Questionnaire, followed by the 6-min walk test (6MWT). In a multivariable model with 6MWT as the dependent variable, age and E/e' explained 27% of the walked distance in 6MWT (P=0.002; multivariate regression analysis). No association was found between walk distance and LVEF or mitral annulus systolic velocity. Only normalized left atrium volume, a sensitive index of diastolic function, was associated with decreased QOL. Despite the small number of patients included, this study offers evidence that diastolic function is associated with physical capacity and QOL and should be considered along with ejection fraction in patients with compensated systolic HF.



Dyspnea, Echocardiography, Left ventricular dysfunction, Six-minute walk test

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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, v. 46, n. 9, p. 803-808, 2013.