Aims: To evaluate the level of plasma brain natriuretic peptide as a predictor of morbidity and mortality in patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic left ventricular dysfunction.
Methods: We measured plasma levels of atrial natriuretic peptide, brain natriuretic peptide, norepinephrine, angiotensin II, and endothelin-1 and monitored haemodynamic parameters in 290 consecutive patients with asymptomatic or minimally and newly symptomatic left ventricular dysfunction (functional classes I-II, mean left ventricular ejection fraction=37%). All patients were followed up for a median period of 812 days. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the association of variables with mortality and morbidity.
Results: At the end of the follow-up, 24 patients had suffered cardiac death and 25 had been hospitalized for worsening heart failure during the follow-up period. Among 21 variables such as clinical characteristics, treatment, haemodynamics, and neurohumoral factors, high levels of plasma brain natriuretic peptide (P<0.0001), norepinephrine (P=0.042), left ventricular end-diastolic volume index (P=0.0035), and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (P=0.033) were shown to be independent predictors of mortality and morbidity by stepwise multivariate analysis. Moreover, only a high level of plasma brain natriuretic peptide (P<0.0001) was shown to be an independent predictor of mortality in these patients.
Conclusions: These results indicate that a high plasma brain natriuretic peptide level provides information about mortality and morbidity in patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic left ventricular dysfunction.
Copyright 1999 The European Society of Cardiology.