Correlation between N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide and Doppler Echocardiographic Parameters of Left Ventricular Filling Pressure in Atrial Fibrillation

Woo Shin Kim, Seong-Hoon Park
Journal of Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2011, 19 (1): 26-31

BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia with a population prevalence of about 1%. Natriuretic peptide level is elevated in patients with AF with diastolic dysfunction even with a normal left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction. The N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level and Doppler echocardiographic parameters for diastolic function have shown correlation with LV filling pressures. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between echocardiographic parameters and serum NT-proBNP in patients with AF with preserved LV ejection fraction.

METHODS: We examined transthoracic echocardiography and NT-proBNP levels in the patients with AF and patients with sinus rhythm. Blood samples were taken for serum NT-proBNP measurements within 24 hours of echocardiographic examination. The group 1 was the patients with sinus rhythm (n = 30, mean age 68 ± 13 years) and the group 2 was the patients with AF (n = 33, mean age 70 ± 14 years).

RESULTS: The group 2 patients had significantly higher mitral E, E' (lateral annulus), E/E' (septal annulus), left atrial (LA) volume index, LA size, pulmonary vein diastolic velocity, and NT-proBNP level than those of group 1 patients (p < 0.05). The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve showed a NT-proBNP had good diagnostic power for E/E' (septal annulus) > 15 in patients with AF at cutoff value of 433 pg/mL.

CONCLUSION: NT-proBNP level is well correlated with Doppler echocardiographic parameters of diastolic function in patients with AF and preserved LV ejection fraction. NT-proBNP level more than 433 pg/mL may suggest elevated LV filling pressure in patients with AF.

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