N-terminal-pro-brain natriuretic peptide predicts outcome after hospital discharge in heart failure patients.Circulation 2004; 110(15):2168-74Circ
Heart failure (HF) is responsible for a huge burden in hospital care. Our goal was to evaluate the value of N-terminal-pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in predicting death or hospital readmission after discharge of HF patients.
METHODS AND RESULTS
We included 182 patients consecutively admitted to hospital because of decompensated HF. Patients were followed up for 6 months. The primary end point was death or readmission. Twenty-six patients died in hospital. The median admission NT-proBNP level was 6778.5 pg/mL, and the median level at discharge was 4137.0 pg/mL (P<0.001). Patients were classified into 3 groups: (1) decreasing NT-proBNP levels by at least 30% (n=82), (2) no significant modifications on NT-proBNP levels (n=49), and (3) increasing NT-proBNP levels by at least 30% (n=25). The primary end point was observed in 42.9% patients. Variables associated with an increased hazard of death and/or hospital readmission in univariate analysis were length of hospitalization, heart rate, signs of volume overload, no use of ACE inhibitors, higher NYHA class at discharge, admission and discharge NT-proBNP, and the change in NT-proBNP levels. The variation in NT-proBNP was the strongest predictor of an adverse outcome. Independent variables associated with an increased risk of readmission or death were signs of volume overload and the change in NT-proBNP levels.
Variations in NT-proBNP levels are related to hospital readmission and death within 6 months. NT-proBNP levels are potentially useful in the evaluation of treatment efficacy and might help clinicians in planning discharge of HF patients. Whether therapeutic strategies aimed to lower NT-proBNP levels modify prognosis warrants future investigation.