New heart-function measurement identifies high-risk patients

June 9, 2021

A new physiological measurement of heart function developed at UVA Health could improve survival for people with heart failure by identifying high-risk patients who require tailored treatments, a new study suggests.

The study shows a survival benefit from wireless pressure monitoring sensors implanted in the pulmonary arteries. Pulmonary artery proportional pulse pressure, or PAPP, is a new measure of heart function, developed at UVA, that can identify patients at very high risk of hospitalization or death from systolic heart failure or pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the heart and lungs).

Previous work by the researchers showed that patients with low PAPPs were at far greater risk than those with higher PAPPs, so the UVA researchers tested whether these benefits were maintained in patients undergoing implantation of pressure sensors that continuously monitor pressure in the pulmonary artery.

UVA’s new study evaluated the benefits of PAPP monitoring in patients with systolic heart failure, in which the heart’s left ventricle is weak, as well as those with pulmonary hypertension  high blood pressure in the arteries in the lungs and right side of the heart.

To test whether PAPP monitoring could predict outcomes in these patients, Mazimba and his colleagues reviewed data from 550 participants in the CHAMPION clinical trial. In the trial, participants were randomized to receive an implantable, wireless heart monitor called the CardioMEMS HF System.

Mazimba and his collaborators found that participants with a below-average PAPP had a significantly higher risk of hospitalization or death than those with higher PAPPs. Further, the monitoring offered significant benefit to those with low PAPPs, reducing the risk of death by 46% annually during two to three years of follow-up.

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