Correlation between HFpEF and Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction Proven


Through joint research with Mayo Clinic’s Cardiovascular Medicine Department in the United States, a research team, led by Prof. Jeong Hoon Yang, Division of Cardiology, Heart Vascular Stroke Institute of Samsung Medical Center (SMC), announced that the correlation between coronary microvascular dysfunction and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) was discovered.


This study was published in the European Journal of Heart Failure (IF 11.627).


Heart failure is classified into either heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), which shows inferior contraction function in the left ventricle, or HFpEF, caused by reduced relaxation function.


In particular, HFpEF accounts for 40% of all heart failure cases and sees an increasing incidence in South Korea due to westernized diets and an aging society. HFpEF is also linked to advanced age, obesity, arterial stiffness, and left atrium dysfunction accompanied by atrial fibrillation. With undiscovered causes and a lack of clinically effective treatments, studies on various medications are currently being conducted as the disease draws attention.


The team analyzed the link between indexes of microvascular dysfunction and diastolic dysfunction, which was observed in ultrasound images, based on results acquired from 162 HFpEF patients out of 1,720 patients who experienced heart failure diagnosed with invasive coronary microvascular dysfunction between 1993–2015.


The research found that 72% of the subjects showed microvascular dysfunction. In addition, patients with endothelium-independent microvascular dysfunction appeared to have links to diastolic dysfunction, which was observed through echocardiography and increased left ventricular filling pressure, as well as higher death rates upon tracking observations.


Meanwhile, the research team rigorously promotes research exchanges with the United States’ Mayo Clinic and Japan’s Gunma University Hospital.