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Am J Cardiol. 2011 Feb 15;107(4):609-14. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.10.021. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Usefulness of repeated N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide measurements as incremental predictor for long-term cardiovascular outcome after vascular surgery.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) levels improve preoperative cardiac risk stratification in vascular surgery patients. However, single preoperative measurements of NT-pro-BNP cannot take into account the hemodynamic stress caused by anesthesia and surgery. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the incremental predictive value of changes in NT-pro-BNP during the perioperative period for long-term cardiac mortality. Detailed cardiac histories, rest left ventricular echocardiography, and NT-pro-BNP levels were obtained in 144 patients before vascular surgery and before discharge. The study end point was the occurrence of cardiovascular death during a median follow-up period of 13 months (interquartile range 5 to 20). Preoperatively, the median NT-pro-BNP level in the study population was 314 pg/ml (interquartile range 136 to 1,351), which increased to a median level of 1,505 pg/ml (interquartile range 404 to 6,453) before discharge. During the follow-up period, 29 patients (20%) died, 27 (93%) from cardiovascular causes. The median difference in NT-pro-BNP in the survivors was 665 pg/ml, compared to 5,336 pg/ml in the patients who died (p = 0.01). Multivariate Cox regression analyses, adjusted for cardiac history and cardiovascular risk factors (age, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, stroke, diabetes mellitus, renal dysfunction, body mass index, type of surgery and the left ventricular ejection fraction), demonstrated that the difference in NT-pro-BNP level between pre- and postoperative measurement was the strongest independent predictor of cardiac outcome (hazard ratio 3.06, 95% confidence interval 1.36 to 6.91). In conclusion, the change in NT-pro-BNP, indicated by repeated measurements before surgery and before discharge is the strongest predictor of cardiac outcomes in patients who undergo vascular surgery.

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