Identification of potential outcome benefit from ACE inhibition after acute coronary syndrome: a biomarker approach using N-terminal proBNP

Iain Squire, Paulene Quinn, Hafid Narayan, Sohail Khan, Onkar Dhillon, Kuan Ng, Dominic Kelly, Joan Davies, Leong Ng
Heart 2010, 96 (11): 831-7

OBJECTIVE: To consider whether patients most likely to benefit from ACE inhibition in routine practice after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) may be identified from plasma natriuretic peptide concentrations.

DESIGN: Observational cohort study.

SETTING: Teaching hospital coronary care unit.

PATIENTS: 1725 patients admitted with acute coronary syndrome (56.3% ST elevation ACS; median age 67, range 24-97 years).

MEASUREMENTS: Using Cox proportional hazards analysis, we assessed the adjusted predictive value for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) of prescription of an ACE inhibitor, of plasma N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and for interaction between these factors. To adjust for demographic differences between patients prescribed or not prescribed an ACE inhibitor, a factor correcting for likelihood of ACE inhibitor prescription (propensity score) was included in the analysis.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary end point was the occurrence of MACE (death, recurrent myocardial infarction or hospitalisation with heart failure).

RESULTS: During the index admission ACE inhibitor was prescribed for 1267/1725 (73.4%) patients. During follow-up (median 528 days, range 0-3873 days), 534/1725 patients experienced MACE. After covariable adjustment, NT-proBNP showed linear association with risk of MACE (p<0.005), strongest for patients with NT-proBNP in the top quartile of observed values (HR=2.768, p<0.001). Only for patients with NT-proBNP in the top quartile was prescription of ACE inhibitor associated with reduction in risk of MACE (HR=0.532, p=0.003). This association was maintained after correction for propensity scores (HR=0.599, p=0.003).

CONCLUSIONS: Prognostic benefit from ACE inhibition was seen only in patients with the most marked elevation of plasma NT-proBNP. Plasma NT-proBNP may be a useful indicator of the appropriateness of individual prescription of ACE inhibitor treatment across the spectrum of ACS.

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