Association between phonocardiography and echocardiography in heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction

Hongxing Luo*, Jerremy Weerts, Anja Bekkers, Anouk Achten, Sien Lievens, Kimberly Smeets, Vanessa van Empel, Tammo Delhaas, Frits W Prinzen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AIMS: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is associated with stiffened myocardium and elevated filling pressure that may be captured by heart sound (HS). We investigated the relationship between phonocardiography (PCG) and echocardiography in symptomatic patients suspected of HFpEF.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Consecutive symptomatic patients with sinus rhythm and left ventricular ejection fraction >45% were enrolled. Echocardiography was performed to evaluate the patients' diastolic function, accompanied by PCG measurements. Phonocardiography features including HS amplitude, frequency, and timing intervals were calculated, and their abilities to differentiate the ratio between early mitral inflow velocity and early diastolic mitral annular velocity ( E/ e') were investigated. Of 45 patients, variable ratio matching was applied to obtain two groups of patients with similar characteristics but different E/ e'. Patients with a higher E/ e' showed higher first and second HS frequencies and more fourth HS and longer systolic time intervals. The interval from QRS onset to first HS was the best feature for the prediction of E/ e' > 9 [area under the curve (AUC): 0.72 (0.51-0.88)] in the matched patients. In comparison, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) showed an AUC of 0.67 (0.46-0.85), a value not better than any PCG feature ( P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Phonocardiography features stratify E/ e' in symptomatic patients suspected of HFpEF with a diagnostic performance similar to NT-proBNP. Heart sound may serve as a simple non-invasive tool for evaluating HFpEF patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Heart Journal - Digital Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


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