Prognostic markers in the pathology of cardiac failure: echocardiography and autonomic nervous system dysfunction

Vol. 56 No. 2 Suppl., 2015
This supplement was not sponsored by Outside Organizations.


Elena Cristina Enciu, Silviu Marcel Stanciu, Dumitru Matei, Adrian Costache

Introduction: Chronic heart failure is a major health problem worldwide and despite the therapeutic advances, the mortality and morbidity still remain high. Echocardiography is the gold standard for left ventricular function assessment and may provide prognostic information for predicting future heart failure events. Patients and Methods: We analyzed the main echocardiographic markers used for the prognostic of chronic heart failure patients such as the ejection fraction, diastolic impairment and the collapse of inferior vena cava. Also, another parameter is studied, recently recognized as a marker for future cardiac events: autonomic nervous dysfunction. The current paper makes a comprehensive approach of the echocardiographic markers recommended for the diagnosis and follow-up of heart failure adapted to what we really find in our everyday practice with a correct patient management in a clinical and biological context. Even though left ventricle ejection fraction is the most often used parameter for cardiac failure follow-up and prognostic, new and more accurate parameters should be used: Tissue Doppler Imaging and Heart rate recovery - which may become a therapeutic target in the era of cardiac rehabilitation. Conclusions: There is no stand-alone marker for the assessment of cardiac failure; each of the parameters presented has its advantages and its pitfalls. Echocardiography allows a morphologic study, which should always be correlated with clinical and functional studies (exercise stress test and autonomic nervous system dysfunction).

Corresponding author: Silviu Marcel Stanciu, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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Annamaria Szanto, Zsuzsanna Pap, Lorand Denes, Erzsebet Benedek Lazar, Adrienne Horvath, Aliz-Beata Tunyogi, Beata Agota Baroti, Zoltan Pavai

The Philadelphia chromosome and the resulting BCR-ABL fusion gene represent the hallmark event in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and their discoveries radically changed the management of these patients. Currently Wilms tumor 1 gene (WT1) is intensively investigated as high WT1 expression levels have been demonstrated in case of multiple solid tumors and malignant hematological syndromes (acute myeloid and lymphoid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic myeloid leukemia). The aim of our study was to investigate the WT1 expression in CML patients and its possible contribution to disease evolution. Patients and Methods: In the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Tirgu Mures, Romania, we regularly determined the M-BCR-ABL and WT1 expression levels by RQ-PCR (real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction) testing in case of 19 CML patients: six patients monitorized from the diagnosis and 13 patients first tested during therapy. Results: Eight CML (four advanced stage and four CP) patients showed high WT1 expression level, and in case of 11 patients the WT1 expression levels were undetectable or lower than 0.02%. The only significant difference between the high and low WT1 expression groups was represented by the clinical stage. In the majority of pretreated patients (10 out of 13 patients), the WT1 expression levels were low or undetectable. Conclusions: High WT1 expression in CML patients is detected especially in the advanced stages of the disease. Efficient Imatinib therapy may contribute to low WT1 levels in CP patients.

Corresponding author: Lorand Denes, Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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