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Am J Cardiol. 2011 Jul 15;108(2):246-51. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.03.034. Epub 2011 May 3.

Prognostic value of plasma renin activity in heart failure.

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Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Fondazione Toscana G. Monasterio, Pisa, Italy.


The prognostic role of specific biomarkers of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and sympathetic activation pathways in heart failure has never been investigated in populations with current evidence-weighted treatment. To establish whether the plasma renin activity (PRA), among several neurohormonal biomarkers, is able to predict cardiac events in a population of patients with heart failure on up-to-date treatment, we selected 996 consecutive patients with systolic left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction <50%, mean age 65 ± 13 years), who underwent a complete clinical and humoral characterization and were then followed up (median 36 months, range 0 to 72) for cardiac death and appropriate implantable cardioverter device shock. We recorded 170 cardiac deaths and 27 shocks. On Cox multivariate analysis, only ejection fraction (hazard ratio 0.962, 95% confidence interval 0.938 to 0.986), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP; hazard ratio 1.729, 95% confidence interval 1.383 to 2.161) and PRA (hazard ratio 1.201, 95% confidence interval 1.024 to 1.408) were independent predictors of cardiac death. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified a cutoff value for PRA of 2.30 ng/ml/hour that best predicted cardiac mortality. Independent predictors of PRA were ejection fraction, functional class, sodium, potassium, NT-proBNP, norepinephrine, aldosterone, C-reactive protein, and medical therapy. The association of high NT-proBNP and high PRA identified a subgroup (22% of the study population) with the greatest risk of cardiac death. In conclusion, PRA resulted an independent prognostic marker in patients with systolic heart failure additive to NT-proBNP level and ejection fraction. PRA might help to select those patients needing an enhanced therapeutic effort, possibly targeting incomplete renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system blockade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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