The most challenging feature of heart failure (HF) still remains the evaluation of congestion. Residual congestion at discharge and the difficulties in perfectly dosing therapies in order to balance the hydration status of the patient are the most worrisome issues when dealing with HF.
The use of bioimpedance vector analysis (BIVA) might promote a different approach in the general management of patients with HF. BIVA is a reliable, fast, bedside tool able to assess the congestion status. It proved to be helpful to physicians for diagnosing congestive status, managing therapies, and providing prognostic information in the setting of HF.
Bioelectrical Phase Angle (PhA) – as derived from equations related to the parameters of BIVA – recently surged as a possible biomarker for patients with HF. Studies provided data about the application of PhA in the clinical management and in the overall risk stratification of HF patients.
Basically, the use of PhA might be considered as a holistic evaluation of patients with HF which includes the need for a multiparametric approach able to effectively depict the clinical status of patients. There is no definite biomarker able to comprehensively describe and identify all the features of HF patient, but scores based on molecules/techniques able to explore the different pathogenetic mechanisms of HF are desirable.
The aim of this review was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of literature related to PhA role in HF and the impact of this biomarker on clinical management and risk stratification of HF patients.