Brain natriuretic peptide predicts successful cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation and maintenance of sinus rhythm

Luís Beck-da-Silva, Adolfo de Bold, Margaret Fraser, Kathryn Williams, Haissam Haddad
Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2004, 20 (12): 1245-8

BACKGROUND: Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is released from the heart by hemodynamically induced muscle stretch. Patients with atrial fibrillation have higher levels of BNP than those in sinus rhythm.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the usefulness of BNP as a predictor of successful cardioversion in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation and subsequent maintenance of sinus rhythm.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twenty patients undergoing cardioversion for persistent atrial fibrillation were enrolled. BNP levels were measured before electric cardioversion, and 30 min and two weeks after cardioversion. Baseline echocardiograms and 12-lead electrocardiograms were obtained from all patients. Patients with valvular disease, previous mitral valve surgery or significant left ventricular dysfunction were excluded.

RESULTS: The mean BNP level and the mean heart rate were significantly higher before cardioversion than 30 min after (197+/-132 pg/mL versus 164+/-143 pg/mL, P=0.02, and 77+/-17 beats/min versus 57+/-12 beats/min, P=0.0007, respectively). Patients who reverted back to atrial fibrillation after two weeks had a baseline BNP of 293+/-106 pg/mL, while those who remained in sinus rhythm for two weeks had a lower baseline BNP of 163+/-122 pg/mL (P=0.02).

CONCLUSION: In patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, BNP levels are associated with successful cardioversion and maintenance of sinus rhythm two weeks after cardioversion.


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