Prospective Validation of a Screening Biomarker Approach Combining Amino-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide With Galectin-3 Predicts Death and Cardiovascular Events in Asymptomatic Hemodialysis Patients

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Cardiovascular (CV) disease is a major cause of death in hemodialysis patients. Biomarkers used to identify high-risk asymptomatic patients would allow early evaluation of cardiac dysfunction and appropriate therapeutic intervention. Amino-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and galectin-3 (Gal-3) may serve this purpose. Plasma levels of NT-proBNP and Gal-3 were measured in 173 patients. Patients were prospectively followed for occurrences of major CV events or death. The association of NT-proBNP and Gal-3 with outcome was analyzed. The prognostic abilities for the combined outcome of Gal-3 and/or NT-proBNP were evaluated. During a median follow-up of 36 months, there were 47 incident outcomes (death and CV events). In the univariable Cox analysis, age, hypertension, albumin, phosphorus levels, and combined elevation of NT-proBNP with Gal-3 above the median (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.45-9.21) were associated with outcomes. In multivariable Cox analysis, both NT-proBNP and Gal-3 values above the median remained associated with outcomes (HR = 3.34, 95% CI = 1.30-8.56). In clinically asymptomatic dialysis patients, combined use of NT-proBNP and Gal-3 may improve risk stratification for death and CV events.

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