Discordant regulation of CRP and NT-proBNP plasma levels after electrical cardioversion of persistent atrial fibrillation

Axel Buob, Jens Jung, Stephanos Siaplaouras, Hans-Ruprecht Neuberger, Christian Mewis
Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology: PACE 2006, 29 (6): 559-63

BACKGROUND: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and C-reactive protein (CRP) have been suggested to be prognostically relevant markers in patients with cardiovascular disease. Additionally, BNP and CRP plasma levels seem to be independently elevated in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, there are only sparse data about the significance and temporal course of these plasma markers after restoration of sinus rhythm (SR).

METHODS: We performed a prospective study in consecutive patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation. NT-proBNP and CRP plasma levels were measured before and one month after electrical cardioversion (CV). Patients with infections, an acute coronary syndrome, or surgery 4 weeks prior to CV, were excluded.

RESULT: Twenty-five patients (men 84%, age 66 +/- 8 years, duration of AF 90 +/- 75 days, left ventricular ejection fraction 0.57 +/- 0.11) were analyzed. At follow-up (33 +/- 6 days after CV) 14 patients (56%) were in SR and 11 patients (44%) in AF. In patients with SR there was a significant reduction of NT-proBNP levels (baseline 1647 +/- 1272 pg/mL, follow-up 772 +/- 866 pg/mL, P < 0.05), even in a subgroup of patients (n = 10) with normal left ventricular ejection fraction (1262 +/- 538 vs 413 +/- 344 pg/mL, P < 0.001). CRP levels in patients with SR were similar at baseline and at follow-up (3.5 +/- 3.6 vs 3.2 +/- 2.5 mg/L, P = 0.8).

CONCLUSION: We conclude that even in patients with normal left ventricular ejection fraction restoration of sinus rhythm leads to a significant reduction of NT-proBNP plasma levels. In contrast, CRP plasma levels seem not to be influenced during the first 4 weeks after electrical cardioversion.

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