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Eur Heart J. 2006 Feb;27(4):447-53. Epub 2005 Nov 18.

N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide as a screening tool for heart failure in the pacemaker population.

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Department of Academic Cardiology, University of Hull, Castle Hill Hospital, Kingston-upon-Hull, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, UK.



Assessment of N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (NT-BNP) as a screening tool for heart failure in patients with a permanent pacemaker.


Consecutive patients undergoing a routine permanent pacemaker assessment were enrolled. Patients underwent medical history and examination, echocardiography and blood sampling for NT-BNP. Analysis was performed on 261 patients (132 DDD, 121 VVI, eight others), mean age 73+/-12 years, range 34-99 years. Seventy two subjects (27%) had heart failure as defined by left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <or=40% and symptoms of heart failure (NYHA class II, III, or IV). Screening with NT-BNP gave a sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 72% for detecting heart failure in all patients [area under the curve (AUC) 0.76, P<0.001, 95% CI 0.69-0.83]. This increased in subjects with a DDD type pacemaker (sensitivity 80%, specificity 66%, AUC=0.8, CI 0.7-0.90) and reduced in subjects with a VVI type pacemaker (sensitivity 66%, specificity 61%, AUC 0.68 CI 0.57-0.78).


Symptoms of heart failure are common in patients with pacemakers. Screening with NT-BNP is feasible and assists in the detection of important cardiac co-morbidity, particularly in patients with a DDD type pacemaker.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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