Association of survival time with transthoracic echocardiography in stable patients with heart failure: Is routine follow-up ever appropriate? Academic Article uri icon


  • The appropriateness of repeat transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) for stable heart failure (HF) is based on timing of the follow-up examination, but this lacks scientific support. We sought the association of routine follow-up TTE on survival and readmission in stable HF.Patients with HF were selected from consecutive HF admissions from 2008 to 2012. Groups were divided into: no follow-up TTE; routine <1year with no change in status ("rarely appropriate"), ≥1year follow-up with no change in status ("maybe appropriate") and TTE due to change in clinical status ("appropriate"). Survival analysis was performed for the combined endpoint of HF readmission and death, and a separate analysis was performed for HF readmission, with death as a competing risk.Of 550 HF patients, 141 had a follow-up TTE, including 41 (29%) within 1year. The event-free time in years was similar between no TTE (1.10years [95%CI: 0.69, 1.49], routine TTE <1year (2.61years [95% CI: 1.08, 3.04], routine >1year (2.45years [95% CI: 1.37, 5.78]); all were greater than symptomatic patients (0.09years [95% CI: 0.02, 1.80]). HF readmission was independently associated with statins, renal disease, coronary angiography and NYHA class, but not follow-up TTE timing. There were no differences in the cumulative incidence for death between groups. There were no differences in change in management in routine TTE <1year and ≥1year.The distinction of appropriateness of routine repeat TTE in stable HF patients, based on testing <1 or ≥1year after index admission appears unjustified.


  • Fonseca, Ricardo
  • Otahal, Petr
  • Galligan, John
  • Neilson, Samuel
  • Huynh, Quan
  • Saito, Makoto
  • Negishi, Kazuaki
  • Marwick, Thomas H

publication date

  • 2017