Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Original research article
Reporting trends of randomised controlled trials in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a systematic review
  1. Sean L Zheng1,
  2. Fiona T Chan2,
  3. Edd Maclean3,
  4. Shruti Jayakumar4 and
  5. Adam A Nabeebaccus1
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, King's College Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, East Sussex, UK
  3. 3Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK
  4. 4King's College London GKT School of Medical Education, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sean Lee Zheng; Sean.Zheng{at}


Background Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) causes significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Current consensus guidelines reflect the neutral results from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Adequate trial reporting is a fundamental requirement before concluding on RCT intervention efficacy and is necessary for accurate meta-analysis and to provide insight into future trial design. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) 2010 statement provides a framework for complete trial reporting. Reporting quality of HFpEF RCTs has not been previously assessed, and this represents an important validation of reporting qualities to date.

Objectives The aim was to systematically identify RCTs investigating the efficacy of pharmacological therapies in HFpEF and to assess the quality of reporting using the CONSORT 2010 statement.

Methods MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL databases were searched from January 1996 to November 2015, with RCTs assessing pharmacological therapies on clinical outcomes in HFpEF patients included. The quality of reporting was assessed against the CONSORT 2010 checklist.

Results A total of 33 RCTs were included. The mean CONSORT score was 55.4% (SD 17.2%). The CONSORT score was strongly correlated with journal impact factor (r=0.53, p=0.003) and publication year (r=0.50, p=0.003). Articles published after the introduction of CONSORT 2010 statement had a significantly higher mean score compared with those published before (64% vs 50%, p=0.02).

Conclusions Although the CONSORT score has increased with time, a significant proportion of HFpEF RCTs showed inadequate reporting standards. The level of adherence to CONSORT criteria could have an impact on the validity of trials and hence the interpretation of intervention efficacy. We recommend improving compliance with the CONSORT statement for future RCTs.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.