Head to head comparison of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and B-type natriuretic peptide in patients with/without left ventricular systolic dysfunction

M Vanderheyden, Bartunek, G Claeys, G Manoharan, J F Beckers, L Ide
Clinical Biochemistry 2006, 39 (6): 640-5

BACKGROUND: Human pro-B-type natriuretic peptide is cleaved into the active B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and the inactive fragment NT-proBNP. It is unclear if, similar to BNP, NT-proBNP can be used as a marker of impaired left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF). This study evaluated the analytical performance of both assays to detect LV systolic dysfunction.

METHODS: In 72 patients with various degrees of left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD), blood analysis for BNP and NT-proBNP was performed prior to cardiac catheterization, using a point-of-care analyzer (Biosite) and a fully automated laboratory analyzer (Roche-Elecsys), respectively. The within-run and between-run imprecision for BNP and NT-proBNP was calculated.

RESULTS: Both markers were able to detect impaired LV EF with the largest area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve for NT-proBNP (NT-proBNP: 0.851 (0.747-0.924); BNP: 0.803 (0.692-0.887) 95% confidence interval; P = 0.07). A significant correlation was observed between BNP and NT-proBNP (r = 0.9; P < 0.0001). Estimating the within-run imprecision, the coefficient of variance for BNP was 3.14% (n = 20, mean 316 ng/L) to 3.32% (n = 20, mean 820 ng/L) and for NT-proBNP 0.9% (n = 20, mean 4390.8 ng/L) to 1.4% (n = 20, mean 225 ng/L). The between-run imprecision for NT-proBNP ranged between 2.1% (n = 20, mean 224.6 ng/L) and 2% (n = 20, mean 4391 ng/L). Optimal discriminator values for BNP and NT-proBNP were 139 ng/L and 358 ng/L, respectively. However, adjusting the BNP cut-off value to 54 ng/L improved the negative predictive value and sensitivity of the assay.

CONCLUSION: Similar to BNP, NT-proBNP is a promising marker in identifying LVSD. Although both assays are reliable and have good analytical performance, their diagnostic cut-off value is dynamic and population-dependent. The slightly wider detection range and the more stable structure of NT-proBNP compared to the BNP assay suggest that NT-proBNP could play an additional role in the evaluation of patients with LV systolic dysfunction.

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