Cardiovascular Diseases & Diagnosis

ISSN: 2329-9517

Open Access

Association of Abnormal Liver Function Tests to Outcomes in Patients with a New Diagnosis of Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection Fraction in the Outpatient Clinic


Koganti S, Dasgupta S, Crossman R and Banerjee P

Aim: To evaluate the relationship of abnormal Liver Function Tests (LFTs) to outcomes in patients with heart failure due to reduced ejection fraction (HFREF) at the time of diagnosis in the heart failure clinic.
Methods: We undertook a retrospective analysis of all patients diagnosed with HFREF in the heart failure outpatient clinic of a tertiary teaching hospital from 2007 to 2011. Ninety-five patients with abnormal LFTs at presentation were compared with 127 contemporaneous randomly chosen patients with normal LFTs and their outcomes were analyzed. Time to event data mortality and admission rates, as well as length of hospital stay during admissions were assessed.
Of 222 patients 69% were Male. The mean age across both the groups was 69.2 ± 13.2 years. The major ethnic group was of white background (78%). Majority of patients were in NYHA class 2 (54.5%). On multivariate analysis, low albumin at the time of diagnosis was the strongest predictor of all cause death (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.15-1.35, p<0.0001). Patients in the abnormal LFT group had a longer in-hospital stay compared to those in the normal LFT group (25.9 ± 29.1 days vs. 17.2 ± 20.5 days, p=0.01). Low albumin and elevated alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were the strongest predictors of increased length of in-hospital stay following heart failure related admissions on multivariate analysis (OR -0.583, CI -1.119, -0.046, p=0.035 and OR 0.033, CI 0.005, 0.061, p=0.02, respectively). Every unit increase of albumin resulted in reduction of in hospital stay by 0.875 days. Time to event analysis showed more deaths in the abnormal LFT group when compared to the normal LFT group (log rank test p=0.012). Although an elevated ALP was seen to be associated with readmission, multivariate analysis found this to be a trend only, with none of the LFTs being predictive.
Conclusion: Abnormal LFTs in the outpatient setting in patients with HFREF was associated with higher mortality in this study. Low Albumin was independently associated with mortality and length of hospital stay due to heart failure. An elevated alkaline phosphatase also seems to be important in predicting length of stay in hospital. Triaging acute heart failure patients due to Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction (LVSD) using abnormal LFTs as biomarkers for more intensive treatment and monitoring would seem advisable. However, this is a retrospective analysis of a relatively small number of patients and the conclusions must be seen in that light.


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