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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Feb;37(2):386-91.

A rapid bedside test for B-type peptide predicts treatment outcomes in patients admitted for decompensated heart failure: a pilot study.

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Division of Cardiology, Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, San Diego, California, USA.



The goal of this study was to determine if B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels predict outcomes of patients admitted with decompensated heart failure.


Treatment of decompensated congestive heart failure (CHF) has often been based on titration of drugs to relieve patient's symptoms, a case that could be made for attempting to also treat neurohormonal abnormalities. Because BNP reflects both elevated left ventricular pressure as well as neurohormonal modulation, we hypothesized that BNP might be useful in assessing outcomes in patients admitted with decompensated CHF.


We followed 72 patients admitted with decompensated New York Heart Association class III to IV CHF, measuring daily BNP levels. We then determined the association between initial BNP measurement and the predischarge or premoribund BNP measurement and subsequent adverse outcomes (death and 30-day readmission).


Of the 72 patients admitted with decompensated CHF, 22 end points occurred (death: n = 13, readmission: n = 9). In these patients, BNP levels increased during hospitalization (mean increase, 233 pg/ml, p < 0.001). In patients without end points, BNP decreased (mean decrease 215 pg/ml). Univariate analysis revealed that the last measured BNP was strongly associated with the combined end point. In patients surviving hospitalization, BNP discharge concentrations were strong predictors of subsequent readmission (area under the receiver operator curve of 0.73).


In patients admitted with decompensated CHF, changes in BNP levels during treatment are strong predictors for mortality and early readmission. The results suggest that BNP levels might be used successfully to guide treatment of patients admitted for decompensated CHF.

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