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Eur Heart J. 2003 Oct;24(19):1735-43.

N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. A new gold standard in predicting mortality in patients with advanced heart failure.

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The Scottish Cardiopulmonary Transplant Unit, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK.



The selection of patients for cardiac transplantation (CTx) is notoriously difficult and traditionally involves clinical assessment and an assimilation of markers of the severity of CHF such as the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), maximum oxygen uptake (peak VO2) and more recently, composite scoring systems e.g. the heart failure survival score (HFSS). Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is well established as an independent predictor of prognosis in mild to moderate chronic heart failure (CHF). However, the prognostic ability of NT-proBNP in advanced heart failure is unknown and no studies have compared NT-proBNP to standard clinical markers used in the selection of patients for transplantation. The purpose of this study was to examine the prognostic ability of NT-proBNP in advanced heart failure and compare it to that of the LVEF, peak VO2 and the HFSS.


We prospectively studied 142 consecutive patients with advanced CHF referred for consideration of CTx. Plasma for NT-proBNP analysis was sampled and patients followed up for a median of 374 days. The primary endpoint of all-cause mortality was reached in 20 (14.1%) patients and the combined secondary endpoint of all-cause mortality or urgent CTx was reached in 24 (16.9%) patients. An NT-proBNP concentration above the median was the only independent predictor of all cause mortality (chi2=6.03, P=0.01) and the combined endpoint of all cause mortality or urgent CTx (chi2 =12.68, P=0.0004). LVEF, VO2 and HFSS were not independently predictive of mortality or need for urgent cardiac transplantation in this study.


A single measurement of NT-proBNP in patients with advanced CHF, can help to identify patients at highest risk of death, and is a better prognostic marker than the LVEF, VO2 or HFSS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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