Predictive value of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in severe sepsis and septic shock

Marjut Varpula, Kari Pulkki, Sari Karlsson, Esko Ruokonen, Ville Pettilä
Critical Care Medicine 2007, 35 (5): 1277-83

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) on mortality in a large, unselected patient population with severe sepsis and septic shock.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective observational cohort study about incidence and prognosis of sepsis in 24 intensive care units in Finland (the FINNSEPSIS study).

PATIENTS: A total of 254 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.

MEASUREMENTS: After informed consent, the blood tests for NT-proBNP analyses were drawn on the day of admission and 72 hrs thereafter. Patients' demographic data were collected, and intensive care unit and hospital mortality and basic hemodynamic and laboratory data were recorded daily.

MAIN RESULTS: NT-proBNP levels at admission were significantly higher in hospital nonsurvivors (median, 7908 pg/mL) compared with survivors (median, 3479 pg/mL; p = .002), and the difference remained after 72 hrs (p = .002). The receiver operating characteristic curves of admission and 72-hr NT-proBNP levels for hospital mortality resulted in area under the curve values of 0.631 (95% confidence interval, 0.549-0.712; p = .002) and 0.648 (95% confidence interval, 0.554-0.741; p = .002), respectively. In logistic regression analyses, NT-proBNP values at 72 hrs after inclusion and Simplified Acute Physiology Score for the first 24 hrs were independent predictors of hospital mortality. Pulmonary artery occlusion pressure (p < .001), plasma creatinine clearance (p = .001), platelet count (p = .03), and positive blood culture (p = .04) had an independent effect on first-day NT-proBNP values, whereas after 72 hrs, only plasma creatinine clearance (p < .001) was significant in linear regression analysis.

CONCLUSION: NT-proBNP values are frequently increased in severe sepsis and septic shock. Values are significantly higher in nonsurvivors than survivors. NT-proBNP on day 3 in the intensive care unit is an independent prognostic marker of mortality in severe sepsis.

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