Association of liver fibrosis risk scores with clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: findings from TOPCAT

Anthony E. Peters, Ambarish Pandey, Colby R Ayers, Kara Wegermann, Robert W. McGarrah, Justin L. Grodin, Manal F. Abdelmalek, Tarek Bekfani, Vanessa Blumer, Anna Mae Diehl, Cynthia A. Moylan, Marat Fudim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Aims: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease leads to progressive liver fibrosis and appears to be a frequent co-morbid disease in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). It is well known that liver fibrosis severity predicts future liver-related morbidity and mortality, but its impact on outcomes in patients with HFpEF remains unknown. This analysis aimed to describe the prevalence of liver fibrosis, as assessed using surrogate biomarkers, in patients with HFpEF and the association of such biomarkers in predicting clinical outcomes in these patients. Methods and results: Patients with HFpEF from TOPCAT Americas were included in the analysis. The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease fibrosis score (NFS) and fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) scores were calculated using a combination of clinical characteristics and laboratory parameters. Risk of advanced fibrosis was classified as low, intermediate, and high. For the 1423 with sufficient data, we used Cox regression analysis to test the association between the risk of fibrosis severity and the combined primary endpoint of all cardiovascular death, aborted cardiac arrest, and hospitalization for heart failure. Advanced fibrosis, as determined by high fibrosis scores, was present in 37.57% by the NFS and 8.02% by the FIB-4. Higher risk of advanced hepatic fibrosis was associated with older age. In unadjusted models, the risk of advanced fibrosis was associated with the primary cardiovascular outcome [NFS high vs. low, hazard ratio (HR) 1.709 (95% confidence interval, CI 1.238–2.358, P = 0.0011) and FIB-4 high vs. low, HR 1.561 (95% CI 1.139–2.140, P = 0.0056)]. After multivariable adjustment, this association was diminished [NFS high vs. low, HR 1.349 (95% CI 0.938–1.939, P = 0.1064) and FIB-4 high vs. low, HR 1.415 (95% CI 0.995–2.010, P = 0.0531)]. Conclusions: Our study suggests that advanced liver fibrosis, as estimated by fibrosis risk scores, may not be uncommon in patients with HFpEF, and there appears to be a limited independent association between liver fibrosis risk scores and clinical outcomes related to heart failure events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-848
Number of pages7
JournalESC Heart Failure
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • Liver fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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