VAS Scale Reveals Self-Perceived Dyspnea Changes


A visual analog scale (VAS) used in clinical trials to determine self-perceived change in dyspnea (breathlessness).


  • Defines a scale for measuring self-perceived change in dyspnea that has been used with heart failure patients.
  • Improved accuracy over standards set for VAS used in measurement of dyspnea in asthma patients.

Technical Summary

Dyspnea is a common symptom that is presented by heart failure patients admitted into the emergency departments. During an evaluation of heart failure patients, physicians often gauge the severity of the illness and response to therapy on the patient's perception of dyspnea. Previously, investigators have used a VAS to quantify changes in dyspnea in asthmatic patients. These studies revealed a significant difference in the perceived change in dyspnea between patients with preexisting airway obstruction and patients without prior airway obstruction. This suggests that standards set in asthma studies may not be accurate enough to determine meaningful changes in dyspnea.

Emory investigators have developed a VAS that can be used to determine the degree of breathlessness in patients who are being treated for heart failure. It sets a standard for the physician and the patients that will allow them to more accurately determine a meaningful change in dyspnea in patients being treated for heart failure.

Developmental Stage

The VAS has been used to evaluate dyspnea of patients with heart failure.

Patent Information

Tech ID: 07127
Published: 2/24/2009