Current national and international guidelines, including those of the European Society of Cardiology, recognize that the assessment of prognosis should be a part of the standard management for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). However, these same guidelines recognize the inherent difficulty of this process. A variety of factors contribute to this difficulty, including the varying etiology, frequent co-morbidity and, perhaps most importantly, huge inter-individual variability in the disease progression and outcome. Although CHF is chronic, it is also a condition in which significant proportions of patients experience apparently ‘sudden’ death, which almost certainly contributes to our difficulty in assessing individual patient prognosis. A useful tool for the risk stratification of heart failure patients is dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE), which determines the myocardial viability in ischemic cardiomyopathy and myocardial contractile reserve in idiopathic cardiomyopathy.
Parthenakis, F., Maragkoudakis, S., Marketou, M., Patrianakos, A., Zacharis, E., & Vardas, P. (2016, September 1). Myocardial inotropic reserve: An old twist that constitutes a reliable index in the modern era of heart failure. Hellenic Journal of Cardiology. Hellenic Cardiological Society. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hjc.2016.11.027