Study: Interleukin-6 No Predictor of Heart Failure Death

In previous studies, interleukin-6 has been cited as a predictor of mortality in patients with acute decompensated heart failure. But a study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic challenges that finding.

In previous studies interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been cited as a predictor of mortality in patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF).

But a study due presented Sunday, March 15, in a poster session at the 2015 American College of Cardiology annual meeting in San Diego, CA, challenges that finding.

Antonio Perez, MD and colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic looked at the association between baseline IL-6 in ADHF and mortality at 30 days and 180 days. They used a cohort of 881 patients from the ASCEND-HF trial of the effectiveness of nesiritide vs. placebo in ADHF patients.

Plasma IL-6 values were measured at the time of hospitalization, at 48 to 72 hours, and again at 30 days after hospitalization.

Their analysis did find that IL-6 was associated with mortality at these various measurement points.

But when they adjusted for age, log blood urea nitrogen, sodium baseline hypotension, and baseline dyspnea at rest they found that differences in these variables were more likely responsible for mortality. The analysis showed that “neither IL-6 nor changes in IL-6 independently predicted mortality.”

Treatment with nesiritide vs. placebo was found to have no significant effect on IL-6 levels at these time points.

The conclusion, Perez wrote, is that “While IL-6 is associated with mortality in ADHF, it does not independently predict mortality.” The finding contradicts previously published research based on smaller cohorts, he said.