Possible vascular role of increased plasma arginine vasopressin in congestive heart failure

Int J Cardiol. 2006 Jan 13;106(2):191-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2005.01.043.


Background: The present study was undertaken to determine the relation of cardiac dysfunction with hormonal release in patients with congestive heart failure.

Methods: Seventy-two patients with congestive heart failure were examined, who were divided into four subgroups classified by the criteria of the New York Heart Association (NYHA). Also, 10 age-matched subjects were served as a control. Plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP), norepinephrine, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were determined. Cardiac index and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) were measured in 51 of 72 patients.

Results: Plasma AVP levels were significantly increased according to the severity of NYHA classes; control: 1.7 +/- 0.2; NYHA I: 4.9 +/- 0.8, NYHA II: 5.5 +/- 0.9, NYHA III: 13.4 +/- 2.6 (p < 0.05), NYHA IV: 26.9 +/- 5.6 pmol/l (p < 0.001). Similar results were obtained with plasma norepinephrine, ANP and BNP. Plasma AVP levels had negative correlation with cardiac index (r = -0.36, p < 0.01), but did not with PCWP and plasma osmolality. Plasma BNP levels positively correlated with PCWP (r = 0.44, p < 0.001), but did not with cardiac index. There was no correlation between plasma AVP and BNP. Intensive therapy profoundly reduced all the hormones according to the improvement of cardiac index in the patients with NYHA class III and IV. The percent decrease in plasma AVP was 60.0%, a value greater than that in plasma BNP.

Conclusion: The present study indicates that increased AVP may deteriorate cardiac function through V(1a) as well as V(2) action, and that plasma AVP level is also a proper marker for the presence and severity of congestive heart failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arginine Vasopressin / blood*
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood
  • Norepinephrine / blood


  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • Norepinephrine