N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide in the early evaluation of suspected acute myocardial infarction

Philip Haaf, Cathrin Balmelli, Tobias Reichlin, Raphael Twerenbold, Miriam Reiter, Julia Meissner, Nora Schaub, Claudia Stelzig, Michael Freese, Patricia Paniz, Christophe Meune, Beatrice Drexler, Heike Freidank, Katrin Winkler, Willibald Hochholzer, Christian Mueller
American Journal of Medicine 2011, 124 (8): 731-9

BACKGROUND: Myocardial ischemia is a strong trigger of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) release. As ischemia precedes necrosis in acute myocardial infarction, we hypothesized that NT-proBNP might be useful in the early diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction.

METHODS: In a prospective multicenter study, NT-proBNP was measured at presentation in 658 consecutive patients with acute chest pain. The final diagnosis was adjudicated by 2 independent cardiologists. Patients were followed long term regarding mortality.

RESULTS: Acute myocardial infarction was the adjudicated final diagnosis in 117 patients (18%). NT-proBNP levels at presentation were significantly higher in acute myocardial infarction as compared with patients with other final diagnoses (median 886 pg/mL vs 135 pg/mL, P <.001). The diagnostic accuracy of NT-proBNP for acute myocardial infarction as quantified by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75-0.83). When added to cardiac troponin T, NT-proBNP significantly increased the AUC from 0.89 (95% CI, 0.84-0.93) to 0.91 (95% CI, 0.88-0.94; P=.033). Cumulative 24-month mortality rates were 0% in the first, 1.3% in the second, 8.3% in the third, and 23.3% in the fourth quartile of NT-proBNP (P <.001). NT-proBNP (AUC 0.85, 95% CI, 0.81-0.89) predicted all-cause mortality independently of and more accurately than both cardiac troponin T (AUC 0.66, 95% CI, 0.58-0.74; P <.001) and the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction risk score (AUC 0.79, 95% CI, 0.74-0.84; P <.001). Net reclassification improvement (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction vs additionally NT-proBNP) was 0.188 (P <.009), and integrated discrimination improvement was 0.100 (P <.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Use of NT-proBNP improves the early diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction.

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