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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009 Oct 20;54(17):1599-606. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.06.028.

Is a pre-operative brain natriuretic peptide or N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide measurement an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcomes within 30 days of noncardiac surgery? A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

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Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine if pre-operative brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) (i.e., BNP or N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide [NT-proBNP]) is an independent predictor of 30-day adverse cardiovascular outcomes after noncardiac surgery.


Pre-operative clinical cardiac risk indices have only modest predictive power. BNP predicts adverse cardiovascular outcomes in a variety of nonsurgical settings and may similarly predict these outcomes in the perioperative setting.


We employed 5 search strategies (e.g., searching bibliographic databases), and we included all studies that assessed the independent prognostic value of pre-operative BNP measurement as a predictor of cardiovascular complications after noncardiac surgery. We determined study eligibility and conducted data abstraction independently and in duplicate. We calculated a pooled odds ratio using a random effects model.


Nine studies met eligibility criteria, and included a total of 3,281 patients, among whom 314 experienced 1 or more perioperative cardiovascular complications. The average proportion of patients with elevated BNP was 24.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 20.1 to 30.4%; I(2) = 89%). All studies showed a statistically significant association between an elevated pre-operative BNP level and various cardiovascular outcomes (e.g., a composite of cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction; atrial fibrillation). Data pooled from 7 studies demonstrated an odds ratio (OR) of 19.3 (95% CI: 8.5 to 43.7; I(2) = 58%). The pre-operative BNP measurement was an independent predictor of perioperative cardiovascular events among studies that only considered the outcomes of death, cardiovascular death, or myocardial infarction (OR: 44.2, 95% CI: 7.6 to 257.0, I(2) = 51.6%), and those that included other outcomes (OR: 14.7, 95% CI: 5.7 to 38.2, I(2) = 62.2%); the p value for interaction was 0.28.


These results suggest that an elevated pre-operative BNP or NT-proBNP measurement is a powerful, independent predictor of cardiovascular events in the first 30 days after noncardiac surgery.

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