Background: NT-proBNP is emerging as a novel tool for improving management of patients with heart failure (HF). The concept of health-related outcomes as the primary endpoint for therapeutic intervention in chronic disease, such as HF, should be the focal point going forward.
Methods: We conducted a prospective real-world study in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) patients. The main target was to evaluate the impact on patient’s health-related outcomes of a personalized medical follow-up procedure, based on a laboratory model of risk stratification supported by NT-proBNP. One hundred and five consecutive patients admitted to the Hospital Heart-Failure unit were stratified into three groups (low, medium, and high risk) and prospective follow-ups during the 12 months post discharge.
Results: It was found that patients under this new approach experienced early and robust improvements in patient health-related outcomes with consistency in most domains which persisted beyond 12 months post follow-up. Improvements in health related quality of life score (HRQLS) was observed over the time of the study. After 6 months we found a significant improvement in HRQLS of 18.2% (from 76.5 ± 22.4 to 95.0 ± 15.7) and 14.4% (from 76.5 ± 22.4 to 96.3 ± 15.9) after 12 months of follow-up (p < 0.001). The highest improvements were found in the symptom severity domain where patients reported an improvement of 22.6% after 6 months and 18.9% after 12 months (p < 0.001). The lowest scores were reported in the physical domain with increase of 11.0% and 4.3% after 6 months and 12 months (p = 0.089). Psychosocial domain and the ability to carry out the activities of normal life showed improvement as well.
Conclusions: Our strategy based on NT-proBNP optimizes HFrEF management and represents a major new approach for clinical laboratories to improve patient health-related outcomes in HFrEF.