Cause of Death in Patients With Acute Heart Failure: Insights From RELAX-AHF-2

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JACC Heart Fail


OBJECTIVES: This study sought to better understand the discrepant results of 2 trials of serelaxin on acute heart failure (AHF) and short-term mortality after AHF by analyzing causes of death of patients in the RELAX-AHF-2 (Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability of Serelaxin When Added to Standard Therapy in AHF-2) trial.

BACKGROUND: Patients with AHF continue to suffer significant short-term mortality, but limited systematic analyses of causes of death in this patient population are available.

METHODS: Adjudicated cause of death of patients in RELAX-AHF-2, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of serelaxin in patients with AHF across the spectrum of ejection fraction (EF), was analyzed.

RESULTS: By 180 days of follow-up, 11.5% of patients in RELAX-AHF-2 died, primarily due to heart failure (HF) (38% of all deaths). Unlike RELAX-AHF, there was no apparent effect of treatment with serelaxin on any category of cause of death. Older patients (≥75 years) had higher rates of mortality (14.2% vs. 8.8%) and noncardiovascular (CV) death (27% vs. 19%) compared to younger patients. Patients with preserved EF (≥50%) had lower rates of HF-related mortality (30% vs. 40%) but higher non-CV mortality (36% vs. 20%) compared to patients with reduced EF.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite previous data suggesting benefit of serelaxin in AHF, treatment with serelaxin was not found to improve overall mortality or have an effect on any category of cause of death in RELAX-AHF-2. Careful adjudication of events in the serelaxin trials showed that older patients and those with preserved EF had fewer deaths from HF or sudden death and more deaths from other CV causes and from noncardiac causes. (Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability of Serelaxin When Added to Standard Therapy in AHF [RELAX-AHF-2]; NCT01870778).

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ePub ahead of print





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