ESC Heart Fail 2017 May 17;4(2):122-129. Epub 2016 Sep 17.
Heart Failure Institute, Heart Centre, Sheba Medical Centre and Sackler School of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael.
Aims: There are limited data on the effect of low-dose, intermittent inotropic therapy in an outpatient setting on the quality of life (QOL) in patients with advanced refractory heart failure (HF) symptoms. We aimed to analyse the effect of this treatment modality on QOL and subsequent survival.
Methods And Results: The study population comprised 287 consecutive patients with advanced refractory HF symptoms who were treated with low-dose, intravenous intermittent inotropic therapy in the HF Day Care Service at Sheba Medical Centre between September 2000 and September 2012. All patients completed a baseline Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLWHFQ), and 137 (48%) completed a 1 year follow-up questionnaire. MLWHFQ scores' means ranged from 0 (better QOL) to 5 (worse QOL). Mean age was 68 ± 12, 86% were men, 77% had ischaemic cardiomyopathy, and the mean left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) was 26% ± 13. The mean baseline MLWHFQ score was 3.1 (±1), while the mean at 1 year of treatment was of 2.7 (±1.1), indicating an overall improvement in QOL associated with intermittent low-dose inotrope therapy ( < 0.01). Multivariate analysis showed that younger age, non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy, and worse renal function were independently associated with improvement in QOL at 1 year. Improvement in QOL was not associated with a significant survival benefit during subsequent follow-up.
Conclusions: In patients with advanced refractory HF symptoms, treatment with low-dose, intermittent intravenous inotropes in an outpatient setting is associated with significant improvement in QOL. However, improvement in QOL in this population does not appear to affect subsequent long-term survival.