Relationship between plasma concentrations of N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide and the characteristics and outcome of patients with a clinical diagnosis of diastolic heart failure: a report from the PEP-CHF study

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AimThe aim of this study was to explore the relationships between plasma concentrations of N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and characteristics and prognosis of patients with heart failure and preserved (HFPEF) left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). No substantial trial has shown that treatment alters prognosis in patients with HFPEF due, in part, to much lower than anticipated event rates. The lack of a simple, objective test to identify patients with HFPEF at increased risk of cardiovascular events would be valuable.Methods and resultsThe Perindopril in Elderly People with Chronic Heart Failure Trial (PEP-CHF) was a randomized, controlled trial comparing perindopril and placebo in patients with symptoms and signs of heart failure who had an LVEF >40% and evidence of LV diastolic dysfunction. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality or heart failure-related hospitalization. NT-proBNP was measured in 375 patients. Quartile thresholds were 176, 409, and 1035 pg/mL. Patients in the highest quartile of NT-proBNP were older, had lower body mass, more often had atrial fibrillation, had greater atrial and ventricular dimensions and a lower LVEF, and were more likely to receive loop diuretic therapy. Compared with the first quartile of NT-proBNP, the hazard ratios for the primary endpoint in the second {1.38 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64–2.99]}, third [2.84 (95% CI 1.42–5.72)], and fourth [4.47 (95% CI 2.30–8.72)] quartiles were increased. In a multivariable model, NT-proBNP, but not echocardiographic measures, was associated with outcome.ConclusionsNT-proBNP is a powerful prognostic marker in patients with HFPEF.

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