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Nucl Med Commun. 2003 Aug;24(8):925-31.

Radioimmunometric assay of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in heart transplantation: correlation between BNP determinations and biopsy grading of rejection.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, "La Fe" University Hospital, Valencia, Spain.


The aim of this study was to determine whether elevated brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels after heart transplantation are correlated with the severity of rejection by using endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) and echocardiographic parameters indicative of ventricular function of the transplanted heart. This was an observational study of 80 orthotopic heart transplant recipients (11 women and 69 men; mean age 53+/-11 years). BNP determinations were performed within 48 h of endomyocardial biopsy. The echocardiographic study and BNP determination were also performed in a group of healthy volunteers. We found significantly higher BNP mean levels in heart transplant patients than in healthy volunteers (volunteers, 16.7+/-16.2; transplant, 213.4+/-268.6; P<0.001). Transplant recipients with rejection grades 2, 3 and 4 on EMB had significantly higher BNP levels than those with rejection grades 0 and 1 (higher rejection grade, 162.5+/-168.4; lower rejection grade, 292+/-361.8; P<0.01). BNP values of patients with good left ventricular function (LVF) were significantly lower than in patients with mildly and moderately impaired LVF and patients with severely impaired LVF (good function, 199.76+/-233.6; mildly/moderately impaired LVF, 937+/-644.5; severely impaired LVF, 1038+/-491.2; P<0.001). It is concluded that BNP plasma levels are elevated in heart transplant patients compared to the normal population. The distribution of BNP levels in heart transplanted patients show a wide range. BNP elevation is greater in patients with higher rejection grades on EMB and greater impairment of left ventricular function.

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