The whole-body bioelectrical phase-angle (PhA) is emerging as a new tool in stratifying prognosis in patients with both acute (AHF) and chronic heart failure (CHF).
To evaluate the determinants of PhA in HF patients.
We analyzed data from 900 patients with AHF or CHF (mean age: 76±10 years, 54% AHF). Clinical, serum biochemical, echocardiographic and bioelectrical measurements were collected from all of patients. PhA was quantified in degrees. Congestion was assessed by a multiparametric approach, including the presence of peripheral edema, brain natriuretic peptides (BNP) plasma levels, blood urea nitrogen to creatinine ratio (BUN/Cr), and relative plasma volume status (PVS) calculated by Kaplan-Hakim’s formula. Geriatric Nutritional Risk Index (GNRI) was adopted as indicator for nutritional status.
At univariate analysis, PhA was significantly lower in females, in patients with peripheral edema, and AHF. PhA significantly correlates age, BNP, PVS, BUN/Cr, and GNRI. At multivariate analysis, congestion biomarkers emerged as the major determinant of PhA as they explained the 34% of data variability, while age, GNRI, and gender only explained 6%, 0.5%, and 0.5%, respectively (adjusted R = 0.41). In particular, PVS (regression of coefficient B=-0.17) explained the 20% of PhA variability, while peripheral congestion (B=-0.27) and BNP (B=-0.15) contributed to 10% and 2%, respectively.
The main determinant of bioelectrical PhA in patients with HF is congestion and PVS in particular, while nutritional status has marginal impact.

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