The GUIDE-HF trial of pulmonary artery pressure monitoring in heart failure: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Zile MR, Desai AS, Costanzo MR, et al. The GUIDE-HF trial of pulmonary artery pressure monitoring in heart failure: impact of the COVID-19 pandemic [published online ahead of print, 2022 Mar 10]. Eur Heart J. 2022;ehac114. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehac114
Aims: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, important changes in heart failure (HF) event rates have been widely reported, but few data address potential causes for these changes; several possibilities were examined in the GUIDE-HF study.
Methods and results: From 15 March 2018 to 20 December 2019, patients were randomized to haemodynamic-guided management (treatment) vs. control for 12 months, with a primary endpoint of all-cause mortality plus HF events. Pre-COVID-19, the primary endpoint rate was 0.553 vs. 0.682 events/patient-year in the treatment vs. control group [hazard ratio (HR) 0.81, P = 0.049]. Treatment difference was no longer evident during COVID-19 (HR 1.11, P = 0.526), with a 21% decrease in the control group (0.536 events/patient-year) and no change in the treatment group (0.597 events/patient-year). Data reflecting provider-, disease-, and patient-dependent factors that might change the primary endpoint rate during COVID-19 were examined. Subject contact frequency was similar in the treatment vs. control group before and during COVID-19. During COVID-19, the monthly rate of medication changes fell 19.2% in the treatment vs. 10.7% in the control group to levels not different between groups (P = 0.362). COVID-19 was infrequent and not different between groups. Pulmonary artery pressure area under the curve decreased -98 mmHg-days in the treatment group vs. -100 mmHg-days in the controls (P = 0.867). Patient compliance with the study protocol was maintained during COVID-19 in both groups.
Conclusion: During COVID-19, the primary event rate decreased in the controls and remained low in the treatment group, resulting in an effacement of group differences that were present pre-COVID-19. These outcomes did not result from changes in provider- or disease-dependent factors; pulmonary artery pressure decreased despite fewer medication changes, suggesting that patient-dependent factors played an important role in these outcomes. Clinical Trials.gov: NCT03387813.
Key questions: What factors explain the loss of treatment effect and reduction in heart failure events during COVID-19?
Key findings: The treatment effect change was not due to COVID-19-related events. Patient management was sustained but not intensified during COVID-19. Patient status improved during COVID-19 and pulmonary artery pressure reduced in both groups.
Take home message: Patient behaviour probably improved during COVID-19, given that patient status and pulmonary artery pressure improved during COVID-19 despite fewer medication changes and without increased contact from providers.