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J Cardiothorac Surg. 2013 Jan 7;8:1. doi: 10.1186/1749-8090-8-1.

Perioperative application of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

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Department of Cardiac Surgery, Zhongshan hospital, Fudan University, No.180 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China.



The purpose of the research was to find out the factors which influence plasma N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels, then to assess whether preoperative plasma NT-proBNP levels could predict postoperative outcomes of cardiac surgery.


Between November 2008 and February 2010,225 patients who underwent cardiac surgery in our department were included in the study. The mean age was 61.25 ± 2.54 years, and 156 (69.3%) patients were male. NT-proBNP, CK-MB, cTnT and creatinine levels were measured preoperatively and 24 hours after operation. Postoperatively outcomes including ventilation time, length of stay in ICU and hospital, and mortality were closely monitored. The endpoints includes: 1) use of inotropic agents or intra-aortic balloon pump ≥24 h; 2) creatinine level elevated to hemodialysis; 3) cardiac events; 4) ICU stay ≥5d; 5) ventilation dependence ≥ 72 h; 6) deaths within 30 days of surgery.


NT-proBNP concentrations (median [interquartile range]) increased from 728.4 pg/ml (IQR 213.5 to 2551 pg/ml) preoperatively to 1940.5 pg/ml (IQR 995.9 to 3892 pg/ml) postoperatively (P = 0.015). Preoperative atrial fibrillation, NYHA class III/IV, ejection fraction, pulmonary arterial pressure, left ventricle end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD), preoperative plasma creatinine and cTnT levels were significantly associated with preoperative NT-proBNP levels in univariate analysis. The preoperative NT-proBNP was closely related to ventilation time (P = 0.009), length of stay in ICU (P = 0.004) and length of stay in hospital (P = 0.019). Receiver operating characteristic curves demonstrated a cut-off value above 2773.5 pg/ml was the best cutoff (sensitivity of 63.6% and specificity of 80.8%) to predict the mortality within 30d of surgery.


Preoperative plasma NT-proBNP level presents a high individual variability in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. NYHA classification, ejection fraction, pulmonary arterial pressure, LVEDD, atrial fibrillation, preoperative plasma creatinine, and cTnT levels are significantly associated with preoperative NT-proBNP levels. Preoperative NT-proBNP is a valuable marker in predicting postoperative outcomes.

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