Prognostic Value of N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels in Heart Failure Patients With and Without Atrial Fibrillation
Patients with heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) have higher circulating levels of NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) than HF patients without AF. There is uncertainty about the prognostic importance of a given concentration of NT-proBNP in HF patients with and without AF. We investigated this question in a large cohort of patients with HF and reduced ejection fraction.Methods and Results
We studied 14 737 patients with HF and reduced ejection fraction and a measurement of NT-proBNP at time of screening, enrolled in either the PARADIGM-HF trial (Prospective Comparison of ARNI With ACEI to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure) or the ATMOSPHERE trial (Aliskiren Trial to Minimize Outcomes in Patients With Heart Failure), of whom 3575 (24%) had AF on their baseline ECG. Median (Q1, Q3) levels of NT-proBNP were 1817 pg/mL (1095–3266 pg/mL) in those with AF and 1271 pg/mL (703–2569 pg/mL) in those without (P<0.0001). Patients with AF were older (67 versus 62 years), had worse New York Heart Association class (III/IV; 36% versus 24%), and experienced fewer previous HF hospitalizations (52% versus 61%) or myocardial infarction (30% versus 46%); all P<0.001. We categorized patients with and without AF into 5 NT-proBNP bands: <400, 400 to 999 (reference), 1000 to 1999, 2000 to 2999, and ≥3000 pg/mL. For the primary composite outcome of cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization, event rates differed for patients with and without AF in the lowest band (<400 pg/mL; 8.2 versus 5.0 per 100 patient-years), but not for the higher bands (400–999 pg/mL, 7.4 versus 7.7 per 100 patient-years; 1000–1999 pg/mL, 9.8 versus 11.4 per 100 patient-year; 2000–2999 pg/mL, 13.5 versus 13.4 per 100 patient-years; ≥3000 pg/mL, 22.7 versus 23.0 per 100 patient-years). These findings were consistent whether NT-proBNP was examined as a categorical or continuous variable and before and after adjustment for other prognostic variables. We found similar results for the components of the composite outcome and all-cause mortality.Conclusions
HF and reduced ejection fraction patients with AF had higher NT-proBNP than those without AF. However, above a concentration of 400 pg/mL (representing most patients in each group), NT-proBNP had similar predictive value for adverse cardiovascular outcomes, irrespective of AF status.Clinical Trial Registration
URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier NCT00853658 (ATMOSPHERE) and NCT01035255 (PARADIGM-HF).