Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2020 Aug 19;4(5):529-536. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2020.05.007. eCollection 2020 Oct.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the intent and early outcomes of elective inotrope use during heart failure hospitalization.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospective multisite design was used to collect data for hemodynamically stable patients started electively on inotrope therapy between January 1 and August 31, 2018. We prospectively recorded data when intravenous inotropic therapy was initiated, including survey of the attending cardiologists regarding expectations for the clinical course. Patients were followed up for events through hospital discharge and an additional survey was administered at the end of hospitalization.
RESULTS: For the 92 patients enrolled, average age was 60 years and ejection fraction was 24%±12%. At the time of inotrope initiation, attending heart failure cardiologists predicted that 50% (n=46) of the patients had a "high or very high" likelihood of becoming dependent on intravenous inotropic therapy and 58% (n=53) had a "high" likelihood of death, transplant, or durable ventricular assist device placement within the next 6 months. Provider predictions regarding death/hospice or need for continued home infusions were accurate only 51% (47 of 92) of the time. Only half the patients (n=47) had goals-of-care conversations before inotrope treatment initiation.
CONCLUSION: More than half the patients (51 of 92) electively started on inotrope treatment without present or imminent cardiogenic shock ultimately required home inotrope therapy, died during admission, or were discharged with hospice. Heart failure clinicians could not reliably identify those patients at the time of inotrope therapy initiation and goals-of-care discussions were not frequently performed.