Hypovolemia and reduced hemoglobin mass in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction

David Montero, Thomas Haider, Jens Barthelmes, Jens P Goetze, Silviya Cantatore, Isabella Sudano, Frank Ruschitzka, Andreas J Flammer


A fundamental tenet of heart failure (HF) pathophysiology hinges on a propensity for fluid retention leading to blood volume (BV) expansion and hemodilution. Whether this can be applied to heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) remains uncertain. The present study sought to determine BV status and key hormones regulating fluid homeostasis and erythropoiesis in HFpEF patients. BV and hemoglobin mass (Hbmass ) were determined with high-precision, automated carbon monoxide (CO) rebreathing in 20 stable HFpEF patients (71.5 ± 7.3 years, left ventricular ejection fraction = 55.7 ± 4.0%) and 15 healthy age- and sex-matched control individuals. Additional measurements comprised key circulating BV-regulating hormones such as pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (proANP), copeptin, aldosterone and erythropoietin (EPO), as well as central hemodynamics and arterial stiffness via carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Carotid-femoral PWV was increased (+20%) in HFpEF patients versus control individuals. With respect to hematological variables, plasma volume (PV) did not differ between groups, whereas BV was decreased (-14%) in HFpEF patients. In consonance with the hypovolemic status, Hbmass was reduced (-27%) in HFpEF patients, despite they presented more than a twofold elevation of circulating EPO (+119%). Plasma concentrations of BV-regulating hormones, including proANP (+106%), copeptin (+99%), and aldosterone (+62%), were substantially augmented in HFpEF patients. HFpEF patients may present with hypovolemia and markedly reduced Hbmass , underpinned by a generalized overactivation of endocrine systems regulating fluid homeostasis and erythropoiesis. These findings provide a novel perspective on the pathophysiological basis of the HFpEF condition.

TidsskriftPhysiological Reports
Udgave nummer21
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2019


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