Background: Although there is growing evidence that N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) can be used as a powerful tool in risk prediction in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTEACS), the dynamic variation of serum concentrations in time is poorly understood. To gain insight into the dynamics of NT-proBNP, a study was performed using serial serum samples in patients admitted with NSTEACS.
Methods: A total of 24 patients admitted with NSTEACS was included in this study. Serial samples were taken at baseline, 8 hours, 16 hours, 24 hours, and 36 hours after admittance.
Results: A highly dynamic pattern in serial measurements of NT-proBNP was observed. Although an increase in NT-proBNP serum levels already existed 8 hours after admittance, it did not reach significance as compared with baseline. The samples obtained 16, 24, and 36 hours after admission were all significantly increased as compared with the values at admission (P < .01), generally leading to a > 2-fold increase with peak values at 16 to 24 hours after admittance. Furthermore, considerable differences in NT-proBNP concentrations between patients were observed.
Conclusions: It was shown that NT-proBNP is a highly dynamic cardiac peptide. Strategic sampling at 16 to 24 hours after admittance could prove representative regarding the assessment of risk prediction and subsequent clinical decision making.