Clinical significance of brachial–ankle pulse-wave velocity in patients with heart failure with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction

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Although pulse-wave velocity (PWV) is a recognized risk predictor for cardiovascular diseases, its association with cardiovascular outcomes in heart failure with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFpEF) is unclear.

Methods and results:

The 502 patients with HFpEF finally enrolled in this study (mean follow-up duration: 1017 days) were divided into those with or without peripheral artery disease (PAD). The latter were further grouped according to brachial–ankle PWV (baPWV) quintiles using an ankle–brachial pressure index device. Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality and total cardiovascular events (both P = 0.01) in HFpEF patients with than without PAD. Multivariate Cox hazard analysis, including predictors identified as significant by simple Cox hazard analysis, identified PAD as a significant and independent predictor of cardiovascular events (hazard ratio: 1.85; 95% confidence interval: 1.01–3.39; P = 0.04). In an analysis of HFpEF patients without PAD grouped according to baPWV quintiles, estimated glomerular filtration rate (r = 0.21, P < 0.01) and hemoglobin (r = 0.18, P = 0.01) levels correlated negatively with baPWV. In the Kaplan–Meier analysis, patients with a baPWV more than 1900 cm/s and those with the lowest baPWV (<1300 cm/s) had a significantly higher frequency of total cardiovascular events than patients with 1300 baPWV or less which is less than 1900, indicating a J-shaped association between baPWV and total cardiovascular events as well as similarities to HFpEF patients with PAD. By contrast, the lowest baPWV group had the highest risk of heart failure-related events, accompanied by the highest brain natriuretic peptide levels.


Identifying complications of PAD and measuring baPWV values in HFpEF patients can improve risk stratification.

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