In patients with acute heart failure, high levels of N-terminal-pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) at discharge are associated with worse outcomes. We hypothesized that NT-proBNP-guided therapy may improve prognosis.Methods and results
Two hundred and seventy-one consecutive patients, admitted for acute heart failure, were prospectively randomized to NT-proBNP-guided therapy or control group. The NT-proBNP-guided therapy group underwent medical treatment intensification when predischarge NT-proBNP was at least 3000 pg/ml. The primary endpoint was cardiovascular death or cardiovascular rehospitalization at day 182. The secondary endpoints were all-cause death, cardiovascular death, cardiovascular rehospitalization, heart failure rehospitalization, and cardiovascular death or heart failure rehospitalization at day 182. Treatment intensification in the NT-proBNP-guided therapy group regarded mainly diuretics. The NT-proBNP strategy was not associated with a significant reduction of the primary endpoint [43% intervention vs. 39% controls, hazard ratio 1.22 (0.84, 1.76), P = 0.305] and of any secondary endpoint. The change of NT-proBNP from predischarge to discharge was associated with the risk of cardiovascular death or cardiovascular rehospitalization through day 182, even after multivariable adjustment.Conclusion
NT-proBNP-guided therapy resulted mainly in an increase of diuretics in acute setting and compared with clinical evaluation alone did not improve prognosis. However, the reduction of NT-proBNP at discharge was an independent predictor of outcomes.