Heart failure with recovered ejection fraction clinical description, biomarkers, and outcomes

Anupam Basuray, Benjamin French, Bonnie Ky, Esther Vorovich, Caroline Olt, Nancy K. Sweitzer, Thomas P. Cappola, James C. Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Background-We hypothesized that patients with heart failure (HF) who recover left ventricular function (HF-Recovered) have a distinct clinical phenotype, biology, and prognosis compared with patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HF-REF) and those with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HF-PEF). Methods and Results-The Penn Heart Failure Study (PHFS) is a prospective cohort of 1821 chronic HF patients recruited from tertiary HF clinics. Participants were divided into 3 categories based on echocardiograms: HF-REF if EF was <50%, HF-PEF if EF was consistently ≥50%, and HF-Recovered if EF on enrollment in PHFS was =50% but prior EF was <50%. A significant portion of HF-Recovered patients had an abnormal biomarker profile at baseline, including 44% with detectable troponin I, although in comparison, median levels of brain natriuretic factor, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-1, troponin I, and creatinine were greater in HF-REF and HF-PEF patients. In unadjusted Cox models over a maximum follow-up of 8.9 years, the hazard ratio for death, transplantation, or ventricular assist device placement in HF-REF patients was 4.1 (95% confidence interval, 2.4-6.8; P<0.001) and in HF-PEF patients was 2.3 (95% confidence interval, 1.2-4.5; P=0.013) compared with HF-Recovered patients. The unadjusted hazard ratio for cardiac hospitalization in HF-REF patients was 2.0 (95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.7; P<0.001) and in HF-PEF patients was 1.3 (95% confidence interval, 0.90-2.0; P=0.15) compared with HF-Recovered patients. Results were similar in adjusted models. Conclusions-HF-Recovered is associated with a better biomarker profile and event-free survival than HF-REF and HF-PEF. However, these patients still have abnormalities in biomarkers and experience a significant number of HF hospitalizations, suggesting persistent HF risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2380-2387
Number of pages8
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 2014


  • Heart failure
  • Myocardium
  • Ventricular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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