Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in humans and mice: embracing clinical complexity in mouse models


  • C. Withaar
  • C.S.P. Lam
  • G.G. Schiattarella
  • R.A. de Boer
  • L.M.G. Meems


  • European Heart Journal


  • Eur Heart J 42 (43): 4420-4430


  • Heart failure (HF) with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a multifactorial disease accounting for a large and increasing proportion of all clinical HF presentations. As a clinical syndrome, HFpEF is characterized by typical signs and symptoms of HF, a distinct cardiac phenotype and raised natriuretic peptides. Non-cardiac comorbidities frequently co-exist and contribute to the pathophysiology of HFpEF. To date, no therapy has proven to improve outcomes in HFpEF, with drug development hampered, at least partly, by lack of consensus on appropriate standards for pre-clinical HFpEF models. Recently, two clinical algorithms (HFA-PEFF and H(2)FPEF scores) have been developed to improve and standardize the diagnosis of HFpEF. In this review, we evaluate the translational utility of HFpEF mouse models in the context of these HFpEF scores. We systematically recorded evidence of symptoms and signs of HF or clinical HFpEF features and included several cardiac and extra-cardiac parameters as well as age and sex for each HFpEF mouse model. We found that most of the pre-clinical HFpEF models do not meet the HFpEF clinical criteria, although some multifactorial models resemble human HFpEF to a reasonable extent. We therefore conclude that to optimize the translational value of mouse models to human HFpEF, a novel approach for the development of pre-clinical HFpEF models is needed, taking into account the complex HFpEF pathophysiology in humans.