The use of B-type natriuretic peptide in the management of patients with atrial fibrillation and dyspnea

Int J Cardiol. 2009 Aug 14;136(2):193-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2008.04.045. Epub 2008 Jul 11.


The utility of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) testing in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is poorly defined. We analyzed patients (n=452) included in the BNP for Acute Shortness of Breath Evaluation (BASEL) study. Patients were randomly assigned to a diagnostic strategy with or without the use of BNP. Ninety-nine patients presented with AF (n=48 BNP group; n=51 control group). Although comparable with respect to gender and cardiopulmonary comorbidity, patients with AF were older and more often had heart failure as the cause of dyspnea. In addition, patients with AF had higher in-hospital mortality (13% versus 6%, P=0.012). The use of BNP significantly reduced time to discharge (BNP group median 8 days [1-16] versus 12 days [IQR 4-21] control group; P=0.046) in patients with AF. Initial total treatment costs (median) were $4239 [769-7422] in the BNP group and $5940 [4024-10848] in the control group (P=0.041). These benefits were maintained after 90 days: patients in the BNP group had spent fewer days in hospital (10 days [2-21] versus 15 days [IQR 9-27]; P=0.022) and induced lower total treatment costs ($4790 [1260-9387] versus $7179 [4311-13173]; P=0.016). In conclusion, the use of BNP seems to improve the management of patients with AF presenting with dyspnea.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / mortality
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Cardiovascular*
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis*
  • Dyspnea / mortality
  • Dyspnea / therapy
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood*
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors


  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain