Heart failure (HF) commonly progresses over time and identifying differences in volume profiles may help stratify risk and guide therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the pathophysiologic and prognostic roles of volume profiles for HF progression in stable ambulatory and hospitalized patients. HF patients who had undergone quantitative intravascular volume analysis (185 outpatients and 139 inpatients) were retrospectively assessed for the combined end point of HF-related hospital admissions (outpatients), HF-readmissions (inpatients), and overall all-cause mortality.
After multivariate Cox regression analysis, greater total blood volume expansion was associated with higher risk of HF-admission in previously stable outpatients (HR: 1.023, CI 1.005 to 1.043; p = 0.013) while in more advanced HF (inpatients) total blood volume expansion was associated with lower risk for HF-readmission and mortality (HR: 0.982, CI 0.967 to 0.997; p = 0.017). Secondary analysis suggests that subclinical plasma volume expansion was a driving factor for the detrimental association in outpatients (HR: 1.018, CI 0.997 to 1.036; p = 0.054), while an increase in red blood cell mass was central to the beneficial association in advanced HF (HR: 0.979, CI 0.968 to 0.991; p <0.001).
In conclusion, understanding differences in plasma volume and red blood cell mass profiles can provide insight into the pathophysiology and progression of HF.