Noninvasive Bioelectrical Impedance for Predicting Clinical Outcomes in Outpatients With Heart Failure

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Noninvasive bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) has shown promise in acute heart failure (HF) management. To our knowledge, its use in predicting outcomes in outpatients with chronic HF patients has not been well described.

Methods and Results:

BIA assessment of edema index was performed in 359 outpatients with HF using the InBody 520 scale. Edema index was calculated by dividing extracellular by total body water. Patients were stratified into those with low (≤0.39) and high (>0.39) edema indices. The outcome of interest was death, urgent transplant, or ventricular assist device over 2-year follow up. Patients with a high edema index were older, had higher B-type natriuretic peptide values and New York Heart Association Class. Patients with a high edema index had poorer outcomes (unadjusted hazard ratio 1.90, 95% confidence intervals 1.05–3.56). However, in multivariate analyses, a high edema index was not an independent predictor of outcomes (adjusted hazard ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 0.51–2.90).


A high edema index using a bioimpedance scale in a HF clinic correlated with patient outcomes in unadjusted analyses, but was not a predictor of outcomes once other measures of HF severity are accounted for. As a noninvasive measure of volume status, use of BIA in a HF clinic may be beneficial in determining patient prognosis and treatment when other outcome predictors are not immediately available.

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