Disproportionate elevation of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in scleroderma-related pulmonary hypertension.Eur Respir J. 2010 Jan; 35(1):95-104.ER
N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a marker of neurohormonal activation that is useful in the diagnosis and prognosis of various forms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We sought to characterise and compare NT-proBNP in a cohort of PAH related to systemic sclerosis (PAH-SSc) and idiopathic PAH (IPAH) patients. NT-proBNP levels, collected from PAH-SSc and IPAH patients followed prospectively, were compared and correlated with haemodynamic variables. Cox proportional hazard models were created to assess the predictive value of NT-proBNP. 98 patients (55 PAH-SSc, 43 IPAH) were included. Haemodynamics were similar, except for lower mean pulmonary arterial pressure in PAH-SSc. NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in PAH-SSc (3,419+/-3,784 versus 1,393+/-1,633 pg x mL(-1); p<0.01) and were more closely related to haemodynamics in PAH-SSc than IPAH. 28 patients died. NT-proBNP predicted survival (hazard ratio (HR) 3.18; p<0.01) in the overall cohort; however, when stratified by group, predicted survival only in PAH-SSc (HR 3.07, p<0.01 versus 2.02, p = 0.29 in IPAH). This is the first description showing NT-proBNP levels are 1) significantly higher in PAH-SSc than IPAH despite less severe haemodynamic perturbations, and 2) stronger predictors of survival in PAH-SSc, suggesting that neurohormonal regulation may differ between PAH-SSc and IPAH. Future studies to define pertinent mechanisms are warranted.