Reduced Cardiac Index Is Not the Dominant Driver of Renal Dysfunction in Heart Failure

Jennifer S. Hanberg, Krishna Sury, F. Perry Wilson, Meredith A. Brisco, Tariq Ahmad, Jozine M. Ter Maaten, J. Samuel Broughton, Mahlet Assefa, W. H. Wilson Tang, Chirag R. Parikh, Jeffrey M. Testani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background It is widely believed that a reduced cardiac index (CI) is a significant contributor to renal dysfunction in patients with heart failure (HF). However, recent data have challenged this paradigm. Objectives This study sought to determine the relationship between CI and renal function in a multicenter population of HF patients undergoing pulmonary artery catheterization (PAC). Methods Patients undergoing PAC in either the randomized or registry portions of the ESCAPE (Evaluation Study of Congestive Heart Failure and Pulmonary Artery Catheterization Effectiveness) trial were included (n = 575). We evaluated associations between CI and renal function across multiple subgroups and assessed for nonlinear, threshold, and longitudinal relationships. Results There was a weak but significant inverse correlation between CI and estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR), such that higher CI was paradoxically associated with worse EGFR (r = -0.12; p = 0.02). CI was not associated with blood urea nitrogen (BUN) or the BUN to creatinine ratio. Similarly, no associations were observed between CI and better renal function across multiple subgroups defined by indications for PAC or hemodynamic, laboratory, or demographic parameters. A nonlinear or threshold effect could not be identified. In patients with serial assessments of renal function and CI, we were unable to find within-subject associations between change in CI and EGFR using linear mixed modeling. Neither CI nor change in CI was lower in patients developing worsening renal function (p ≥ 0.28). Conclusions These results reinforce evidence that reduced CI is not the primary driver for renal dysfunction in patients hospitalized for HF, irrespective of the degree of CI impairment or patient subgroup analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2199-2208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 17 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • blood urea nitrogen
  • cardiorenal
  • creatinine
  • pulmonary artery catheterization
  • renal function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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