Killip Classification for Heart Failure

Killip Classification for Heart Failure could be used in patients with confirmed acute coronary syndrome in both STEMI and NSTEMI for mortality prediction.

Can be used as part of the full clinical picture to help decide among treatment options, including reperfusion therapy and intra-aortic balloon pump placement. Predicts mortality in ACS and is validated for both STEMI and NSTEMI.

Killip Classification for Heart Failure

No signs of congestion
S3 and basal rales on auscultation
Acute Pulmonary oedema
Cardiogenic shock

Class 30-day mortality* In-hospital mortality** (historical interest only)
0 0 0

Killip classification:

Class INo signs of congestion
Class IIS3 and basal rales on auscultation
Class IIIAcute pulmonary oedema
Class IVCardiogenic shock


Class30-day mortality*In-hospital mortality** (historical interest only)

*From Khot 2003, which combined class III/IV owing to relatively smaller number of patients in class IV (0.3% of patients).
**From Killip 1967. Killip classification developed in the 1960s, before reperfusion therapy (thrombolytics, PCI); has been shown across several studies since then to still be predictive of mortality. However, mortality rates have declined significantly since the original study.

About the creator

Thomas Killip III, MD, is a professor of medicine and cardiology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. He has published dozens of studies in cardiology since the 1960s. Dr. Killip is best known for the heart failure classification system that bears his name. To view Dr. Thomas Killip III’s publications, visit PubMed

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  1. Thomas Killip III, John T. Kimball Treatment of myocardial infarction in a coronary care unit. Two year experience with 250 patients. Symposium on coronary care unit. 1967, Vol.20(4):P457-464. DOI:
  2. Khot UN, Jia G, Moliterno DJ, Lincoff AM, Khot MB, Harrington RA, Topol EJ. Prognostic importance of physical examination for heart failure in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: the enduring value of Killip classification. JAMA. 2003 Oct 22;290(16):2174-81. doi: 10.1001/jama.290.16.2174.  PMID: 14570953.
  3. DeGeare VS, Boura JA, Grines LL, O’Neill WW, Grines CL. Predictive value of the Killip classification in patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention for acute myocardial infarction. Am J Cardiol. 2001 May 1;87(9):1035-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(01)01457-6. PMID: 11348598.
  4. Nesković AN, Otasević P, Bojić M, Popović AD. Association of Killip class on admission and left ventricular dilatation after myocardial infarction: a closer look into an old clinical classification. Am Heart J. 1999 Feb;137(2):361-7. doi: 10.1053/hj.1999.v137.89744. PMID: 9924172.

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