Skin Autofluorescence as a Predictor of First Heart Failure Hospitalization in Patients With Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction

Takashi Hitsumoto


Background: An autofluorescence (AF) reader can be used to diagnose skin AF non-invasively by measuring local accumulation of advanced glycation end-products. A number of studies have investigated the relationships between skin AF and cardiovascular disease. However, data regarding the usefulness of skin AF as a predictor of chronic heart failure remain limited. This prospective study aimed to elucidate the usefulness of skin AF as a predictor of first heart failure (HF) hospitalization in patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Methods: A total of 412 outpatients with HFpEF with no history of HF hospitalization were enrolled. Patients were assigned to either the low (group L; skin AF ≤ 2.9 arbitrary units (AU); n = 303) or the high (group H; skin AF ≥ 3.0 AU; n = 109) group according to optimal skin AF cut-off levels determined using receiver operating characteristic curves. Clinical parameters and the usefulness of skin AF as a predictor of first HF hospitalization were evaluated.

Results: The E/e’ ratio as a marker of left ventricular diastolic function was significantly higher in group H patients than in group L patients at baseline (group H, 11.8 ± 3.8; group L, 10.6 ± 3.3; P = 0.002). During the 72.7-month follow-up period, 43 HF cases were hospitalized (group L, 15 cases; group H, 28 cases; P < 0.001, log-rank test). Multivariate Cox regression analyses revealed that group H exhibited a significantly higher risk of first HF hospitalization than did group L (hazard ratio, 2.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.21 - 3.52; P = 0.014).

Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that skin AF can predict the risk of first HF hospitalization in patients with HFpEF. Prospective studies, including intervention therapies, are required to validate our observations.

Cardiol Res. 2020;11(4):247-255


Skin autofluorescence; Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction; First heart failure hospitalization; Left ventricular diastolic function; Cardio-ankle vascular index; Inflammation

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Cardiology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1923-2829 (print), 1923-2837 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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