Prognostic markers in heart failure - Congestion, neurohormones, and the cardiorenal syndrome

John Edward Abellera Blair*, Amin Manuchehry, Amar Chana, Joseph Rossi, Robert W. Schrier, John C. Burnett, Mihai Gheorghiade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


There are several markers of poor prognosis in heart failure (HF). The most established markers of poor prognosis in HF include neurohormonal (NH) imbalance, low ejection fraction (EF), ventricular arrhythmias, intraventricular conduction delays, low functional capacity, low SBP, and renal failure. The relative importance of these factors is unknown, as they have never been studied together. We present a 74-year-old female with nonischemic cardiomyopathy and an EF<20% who over 24 years since diagnosis, never developed clinical or hemodynamic congestion, was never hospitalized for HF, and never required a loop diuretic. She had all of the clinical indicators of poor prognosis in HF except for severe NH imbalance and renal failure, illustrating their importance in HF prognosis. While NH activation in HF is initially an adaptive mechanism, an imbalance of NH effectors causes congestion leading to a vicious cycle of congestion, renal dysfunction, and worsening of HF. The combination of NH activation and renal failure in HF is a vasomotor nephropathy known as the cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) and portends a poor prognosis. Pharmacological disruption of NH pathways early in HF may prevent CRS and, therefore, improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalAcute cardiac care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007


  • Congestion
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney
  • Natriuretic peptides
  • New York Heart Association (NYHA)
  • Norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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