INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) remains the most common etiology of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). However, there is controversy whether invasive coronary angiography (ICA) should be used initially to exclude CAD in patients presenting with new-onset HFrEF of unknown etiology. Our study aimed to develop a clinical score to quantify the risk of obstructive CAD in these patients.
METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional observational study of 452 consecutive patients presenting with new-onset HFrEF of unknown etiology undergoing elective ICA in one academic center, between January 2005 and December 2019. Independent predictors for obstructive CAD were identified. A risk score was developed using multivariate logistic regression of designated variables. The accuracy and discriminative power of the predictive model were assessed.
RESULTS: A total of 109 patients (24.1%) presented obstructive CAD. Six independent predictors were identified and included in the score: male gender (2 points), diabetes (1 point), dyslipidemia (1 point), smoking (1 point), peripheral arterial disease (1 point), and regional wall motion abnormalities (3 points). Patients with a score ≤3 had less than 15% predicted probability of obstructive CAD. Our score showed good discriminative power (C-statistic 0.872; 95% CI 0.834-0.909: p<0.001) and calibration (p=0.333 from the goodness-of-fit test).
CONCLUSIONS: A simple clinical score showed the ability to predict the risk of obstructive CAD in patients presenting with new-onset HFrEF of unknown etiology and may guide the clinician in selecting the most appropriate diagnostic modality for the assessment of obstructive CAD.