Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is useful for the evaluation of ventricular dysfunction in patients with various cardiac diseases. However, its diagnostic value has been considered to be limited in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) because renal dysfunction itself may affect BNP levels. This study is designed to clarify the diagnostic and prognostic value of plasma BNP level in patients with CRF.
In 103 non-dialysis-dependent patients with CRF without heart failure and 60 hypertensive patients with normal renal function, echocardiographic examinations and BNP measurements were performed.
Plasma BNP level was much greater in patients with CRF than in hypertensive controls; however, multiple regression analysis showed that left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume (EDV) index (LVEDVI) and the difference in mitral and pulmonary venous atrial wave duration (Ad-PVad), a marker of LV end-diastolic pressure, were independent determinants of plasma BNP levels in patients with CRF. The influence of LV overload (LVEDVI > or = 75 mL/m 2 and/or Ad-PVad < 0 milliseconds) on plasma BNP levels in subjects with CRF was independent of the severity of renal dysfunction. From Kaplan-Meier event-free curves (mean follow-up, 13 months), the incidence of heart failure was much greater in patients with a plasma BNP level of 150 pg/mL or greater (P < 0.001). By means of multivariate Cox regression analysis, high plasma BNP level was the strongest predictor for heart failure events (hazard ratio, 6.31; P < 0.001).
These findings support plasma BNP level as a reliable marker of LV overload, even in nondialysis patients with CRF. Also, a high BNP level (> or =150 pg/mL) may have powerful predictive potential for heart failure in these patients.