Objective: Cardiac function and volume status could play a critical role in the setting of weaning failure. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a powerful marker of cardiac dysfunction. We assessed the value of BNP during the weaning process.
Design, setting and patients: One hundred and two consecutive patients considered ready to undergo a 1-h weaning trial (T-piece or low-pressure support level) were prospectively included in a medical intensive care unit of a university hospital. Weaning was considered successful if the patient passed the trial and sustained spontaneous breathing for more than 48 h after extubation.
Interventions: Plasma BNP was measured just before the trial in all patients, and at the end of the trial in the first 60 patients.
Results: Overall, 42 patients (41.2%) failed the weaning process (37 patients failed the trial and 5 failed extubation). Logistic regression analysis identified high BNP level before the trial and the product of airway pressure and breathing frequency during ventilation as independent risk factors for weaning failure. BNP values were not different at the end of the trial. In nine of the patients in whom the weaning process failed, it succeeded on a later occasion after diuretic therapy. Their BNP level before weaning decreased between the two attempts (517 vs 226 pg/ml, p=0.01). In survivors, BNP level was significantly correlated to weaning duration (rho=0.52, p<0.01).
Conclusions: Baseline plasma BNP level before the first weaning attempt is higher in patients with subsequent weaning failure and correlates to weaning duration.