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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 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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