B-Type Natriuretic Peptides Help Assess Heart Problems

Two natriuretic peptides equally good at predicting outcome in stable ischemic heart disease

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and amino terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP) perform equally well as biomarkers in patients with stable ischemic heart disease, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Both markers predict heart failure and all-cause mortality, and can rule out severely reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).

Mark Richards, M.D., of Christchurch Hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, and colleagues collected data on LVEF, creatinine clearance, age, gender, body mass index, BNP and NTproBNP in 1,049 patients with stable ischemic heart disease.

The researchers found that BNP and NTproBNP correlated closely and had similar relationships to LVEF, age and creatinine clearance.

"In stable ischemic heart disease, BNP and NTproBNP display strong and near-identical test performance in ruling out severely reduced LVEF and in prediction of all-cause mortality or heart failure despite significant effects of age, gender and renal function on levels of both markers," the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, Alan Maisel, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego, writes that because both molecules offer "considerable value" to clinicians, the final decision about which to use may depend on having the lab equipment needed for the test.

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