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Characteristics and outcomes of heart failure with recovered left ventricular ejection fraction

Zhang, Xinxin, Sun, Yuxi, Zhang, Yanli, Chen, Feifei, Dai, Mengyuan, Si, Jinping, Yang, Jing, Li, Xiao, Li, Jiaxin, Xia, Yunlong, and others. (2021) Characteristics and outcomes of heart failure with recovered left ventricular ejection fraction. ESC Heart Failure, 8 (6). pp. 5383-5391. ISSN 2055-5822. (doi:10.1002/ehf2.13630) (KAR id:95137)

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There is an emerging interest in elucidating the natural history and prognosis for patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in whom left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) subsequently improves. The characteristics and outcomes were compared between heart failure with recovered ejection fraction (HFrecEF) and persistent HFrEF.

Methods and results

This is a retrospective study of adults who underwent at least two echocardiograms 3 months apart between 1 November 2015 and 31 October 2019 with an initial diagnosis of HFrEF. The subjects were divided into HFrecEF group (second LVEF > 40%, ≥10% absolute improvement in LVEF) and persistent HFrEF group (<10% absolute improvement in LVEF) according to the second LVEF. To further study the characteristics of HFrecEF patients, the cohort was further divided into LVEF improvement of 10–20% and >20% subgroups. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality and rehospitalization. A total of 1160 HFrEF patients were included [70.2% male, mean (standard deviation) age: 62 ± 13 years]. On the second echocardiogram, 284 patients (24.5%) showed HFrecEF and 876 patients (75.5%) showed persistent HFrEF. All-cause mortality was identified in 23 (8.10%) HFrecEF and 165 (18.84%) persistent HFrEF, whilst 76 (26.76%) and 426 (48.63%) showed rehospitalizations, respectively. Survival analysis showed that the persistent HFrEF subgroup experienced a significantly higher mortality at 12 and 24 months and a higher hospitalization at 12, 24, 48, and more than 48 months following discharge. Multivariate Cox regression showed that persistent HFrEF had a higher risk of all-cause mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 2.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.49–3.56, P = 0.000] and rehospitalization (HR 1.85, 95% CI 1.45–2.36, P = 0.000) than the HFrecEF group. Subgroup analysis showed that the LVEF ≥ 20% improvement subgroup had lower rates of adverse outcomes compared with those with less improvement of 10–20%.


Heart failure with recovered ejection fraction is a distinct HF phenotype with better clinical outcomes compared with those with persistent HFrEF. HFrecEF patients have a relatively better short-term mortality at 24 months but not thereafter.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/ehf2.13630
Uncontrolled keywords: Cardiology; Cardiovascular Medicine; heart failure, prognosis, echocardiography, left ventricular ejection fraction
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Funders: National Natural Science Foundation of China (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2022 12:28 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 14:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Tse, Gary:
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