BackgroundPulmonary hypertension (PH) conveys a worse prognosis in heart failure (HF), in particular when right ventricular (RV) dysfunction ensues. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) non-invasively estimates pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), which has shown prognostic value in HF. Importantly, RV to pulmonary artery (PA) coupling is altered early in HF, before significant rise in PV resistance occurs. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of mean velocity at the pulmonary artery (mvPA), a novel non-invasive parameter determined by CMR, in HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) with and without associated PH.MethodsProspective inclusion of 238 patients admitted for new-onset HFrEF. MvPA was measured with CMR during index admission. The primary endpoint was defined as a composite of HF readmissions and all-cause mortality.ResultsDuring a median follow-up of 25 months, 91 patients presented with the primary endpoint. Optimal cut-off value of mvPA calculated by the receiver operator curve for the prediction of the primary endpoint was 9 cm/s. The primary endpoint occurred more frequently in patients with mvPA≤9 cm/s, as indicated by Kaplan-Meier survival curves; Log Rank 16.0, p < 0.001. Importantly, mvPA maintained its prognostic value regardless of RV function and also when considering mortality and HF readmissions separately. On Cox proportional hazard analysis, reduced mvPA≤9 cm/s emerged as an independent prognostic marker, together with NYHA III-IV/IV class, stage 3–4 renal failure and ischemic cardiomyopathy.ConclusionsIn our HFrEF cohort, mvPA emerged as an independent prognostic indicator independent of RV function, allowing identification of a higher-risk population before structural damage onset. Moreover, mvPA emerged as a surrogate marker of the RV-PA unit coupling status.