Clinical significance of brain natriuretic peptide in patients with postmyocardial infarction

P Bettencourt, A Ferreira, N Pardal-Oliveira, M Pereira, C Queirós, V Araújo, M Cerqueira-Gomes, M J Maciel
Clinical Cardiology 2000, 23 (12): 921-7

BACKGROUND: Risk stratification after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) includes the evaluation of left ventricular (LV) function. Natriuretic peptides, and particularly brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), emerged as a potential marker of ventricular function and prognosis after AMI.

HYPOTHESIS: Brain natriuretic peptide levels are related to ventricular function, either systolic or isolated diastolic, and can give prognostic information in patients surviving AMI.

METHODS: In all, 101 patients were enrolled. An echocardiographic (M-mode, two-dimensional, and pulsed Doppler) evaluation was performed and blood samples for BNP measurement were obtained. Clinical events were recorded during 12 months of follow-up.

RESULTS: A negative correlation between BNP and LV ejection fraction was observed (r = -0.38; p < 0.001). The BNP levels were higher among patients with LV systolic dysfunction than in patients with isolated diastolic dysfunction (339.1 +/- 249.9 vs. 168.0 +/- 110.5 pg/ml, p = 0.001). The latter had higher levels of BNP than those with normal LV function (68.3 +/- 72.6 pg/ml, p < 0.001). The BNP accuracy to detect LV systolic dysfunction was good (area under the ROC curve [AUC] = 0.83) and increased when isolated diastolic dysfunction was also considered (AUC = 0.87). Brain natriuretic peptide had a very good accuracy in the prediction of death (AUC = 0.95) and the development of heart failure (AUC = 0.90).

CONCLUSION: These results extend previous evidence relating BNP to systolic function after AMI. Furthermore, a relationship between BNP levels and diastolic function was found. Brain natriuretic peptide had a very good performance in detecting the occurrence of an adverse event. We conclude that BNP can detect high-risk patients and help select patients for more aggressive approaches.

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