Aims: We aimed to determine whether in children with dilated cardiomyopathy repeated measurement of known risk factors for death or heart transplantation (HTx) during disease progression can identify children at the highest risk for adverse outcome. Methods and results: Of 137 children we included in a prospective cohort, 36 (26%) reached the study endpoint (SE: all-cause death or HTx), 15 (11%) died at a median of 0.09 years [inter-quartile range (IQR) 0.03–0.7] after diagnosis, and 21 (15%) underwent HTx at a median of 2.9 years [IQR 0.8–6.1] after diagnosis. Median follow-up was 2.1 years [IQR 0.8–4.3]. Twenty-three children recovered at a median of 0.6 years [IQR 0.5–1.4] after diagnosis, and 78 children had ongoing disease at the end of the study. Children who reached the SE could be distinguished from those who did not, based on the temporal evolution of four risk factors: stunting of length growth (−0.42 vs. −0.02 length Z-score per year, P < 0.001), less decrease in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (−0.26 vs. −1.06 2log pg/mL/year, P < 0.01), no decrease in left ventricular internal diastolic dimension (LVIDd; 0.24 vs. −0.60 Boston Z-score per year, P < 0.01), and increase in New York University Pediatric Heart Failure Index (NYU PHFI; 0.49 vs. −1.16 per year, P < 0.001). When we compared children who reached the SE with those with ongoing disease (leaving out the children who recovered), we found similar results, although the effects were smaller. In univariate analysis, NT-proBNP, length Z-score, LVIDd Z-score, global longitudinal strain (%), NYU PHFI, and age >6 years at presentation (all P < 0.001) were predictive of adverse outcome. In multivariate analysis, NT-proBNP appeared the only independent predictor for adverse outcome, a two-fold higher NT-proBNP was associated with a 2.8 times higher risk of the SE (hazard ratio 2.78, 95% confidence interval 1.81–3.94, P < 0.001). Conclusions: The evolution over time of NT-proBNP, LVIDd, length growth, and NYU PHFI identified a subgroup of children with dilated cardiomyopathy at high risk for adverse outcome. In this sample, with a limited number of endpoints, NT-proBNP was the strongest independent predictor for adverse outcome.

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ESC Heart Failure
Department of Pediatrics

van der Meulen, M., den Boer, S., Du Marchie Sarvaas, G., Blom, N., ten Harkel, A., Breur, H.M.P.J. (Hans M.P.J.), … Dalinghaus, M. (2021). Predicting outcome in children with dilated cardiomyopathy: the use of repeated measurements of risk factors for outcome. ESC Heart Failure. doi:10.1002/ehf2.13233