Prognostic importance of the oxidized product of catecholamines, adrenolutin, in patients with severe heart failure
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OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess whether adrenolutin, the inert product of the highly reactive molecules aminochromes, is increased in severe chronic heart failure and whether it is associated with a poor prognosis. BACKGROUND: Experimental evidence suggests that oxidative products of catecholamines, aminochromes, are more cardiotoxic than unoxidized catecholamines and may be increased in heart failure. METHODS: Adrenolutin was measured at baseline and at 1 and 3 months in 263 patients with chronic New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure and a left ventricular ejection fraction of 22% +/- 7%. Adrenolutin levels were compared with normal levels, and their relation to prognosis was evaluated. RESULTS: Baseline adrenolutin was increased (55 +/- 90 pg/mL vs 8.4 +/- 9.1 pg/mL for control, P <.02) and remained increased at 1 month (49 +/- 65 pg/mL). During a mean follow-up of 309 +/- 148 days (22-609 days), 57 patients died. Baseline adrenolutin levels correlated with mortality rates by univariate and multivariate analyses (relative risk 1.06, 95% CI 1.01-1.10 for each 17.9-pg/mL rise, P =.032). Left ventricular ejection fraction (P =.013) and New York Heart Association class (P =.009) were the only other variables associated with survival. Age, sex, plasma creatinine, plasma N-terminal atrial natriuretic peptide, and plasma norepinephrine levels were not retained in our model. Adrenolutin levels 1 month after random assignment were not significantly correlated with total mortality rate (P =.061) but were correlated with mortality rate from low output (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.22, P =.002). CONCLUSIONS: Plasma adrenolutin is increased in patients with heart failure and correlates with a poor prognosis independent of other important predictors of survival. This finding has potentially important pathophysiologic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications.