N-terminal Pro B-type Natriuretic Peptide Levels: Correlation with Echocardiographically Determined Left Ventricular Diastolic Function in an Ambulatory Cohort

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To investigate the correlations of plasma N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels with echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular (LV) systolic and/or diastolic function.


Plasma levels of NT-proBNP are increased in heart failure. The extent to which NT-proBNP levels increase in LV diastolic dysfunction has not been well characterized.


Plasma NT-proBNP levels were measured in 191 consecutive, clinically stable, ambulatory patients. Echocardiography was used to determine LV systolic (LV ejection fraction [LVEF]) and diastolic function by mitral E wave to Doppler tissue early diastolic lateral annulus velocity ratio (E/Em). Patients with a history, physical findings, and/or echocardiographic evidence of cardiovascular disease (n = 148) were grouped as: (1) normal LV systolic function (LVEF ≥ 55%, n = 81); and (2) LV systolic dysfunction (LVEF < 55%, n = 67). They were compared to a group of healthy control subjects (n = 43). Multivariate regression analyses were used to determine significant correlations with plasma NT-proBNP levels.


NT-proBNP levels correlated negatively with LVEF (P < .001) and positively with E/Em (P = .001). Multivariate regression analysis demonstrated a significant correlation of NT-proBNP levels with LVEF (P < .001) and E/Em (P = .03).


In this clinically stable, ambulatory cohort of patients with cardiovascular disease and healthy control subjects, plasma NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in those with LV systolic dysfunction and/or elevated filling pressures, independent of the effects of LV mass, renal function, and age. These results suggest that NT-proBNP levels may be a useful adjunct in the characterization of patients presenting with history and/or symptoms compatible with LV systolic and/or diastolic dysfunction.

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