Decreasing ratio of plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and B-type natriuretic peptide according to age

Andreas M E Koch, Manfred Rauh, Stefan Zink, Helmut Singer
Acta Paediatrica 2006, 95 (7): 805-9

BACKGROUND: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and the N-terminal fragment of proBNP (NT-proBNP) seem to be useful diagnostic tools also in children with cardiac disease. Recent data suggest that plasma levels of both peptides show different patterns from infancy to adolescence.

AIM: To investigate the relationship of BNP and NT-proBNP in children and adolescents according to age.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: In 46 individuals without cardiac disease (22 males, 24 females, aged 0.4-17.5 years) and 30 patients with congenital heart disease (17 males, 13 females, aged 0.2-18.4 years), plasma levels of BNP and NT-proBNP were measured in the same sample (triage BNP assay, Biosite and Elecsys NT-proBNP assay, Roche Diagnostics).

RESULTS: The range of BNP plasma levels was 5-32 pg/ml in individuals without heart disease and 5-1300 pg/ml in the patient group, the range of NT-proBNP was 10-298 pg/ml and 30-18,966 pg/ml, respectively. In both groups, the ratio NT-proBNP/BNP decreased with increasing age (P<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Although proBNP is cleaved into the two fragments NT-proBNP and BNP, there is a decreasing ratio of NT-proBNP/BNP with increasing age caused probably by age-dependent differences in the metabolic clearance of both peptides. This has to be considered in comparison studies on BNP and NT-proBNP regarding their benefit to paediatric cardiology.

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