Usefulness of N-terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide as a Biomarker of the Presence of Carcinoid Heart Disease

Am J Cardiol. 2008 Oct 1;102(7):938-42. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.05.047. Epub 2008 Jul 17.


We sought to investigate whether N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) can be used as a biomarker for the detection of carcinoid heart disease (CHD); 200 patients with carcinoid syndrome were screened for CHD using transthoracic echocardiography. A carcinoid score was formulated to quantify severity of CHD. NT-pro-BNP was measured in all patients before echocardiography. Patients were categorised into New York Heart Association class. CHD was present in 39 patients (19.5%). NT-pro-BNP was significantly higher in those with CHD (median 1,149 pg/ml) than in those without CHD (median 101 pg/ml, p <0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of NT-pro-BNP at a cut-off level of 260 pg/ml for detection of CHD were 0.92 and 0.91, respectively. NT-pro-BNP positively correlated both with carcinoid score (r = 0.81, p <0.001) and New York Heart Association class (p <0.001). The number of patients screened to diagnose 1 case of CHD decreased from 5.1 to 1.4. In conclusion, NT-pro-BNP seems to be an excellent biomarker of CHD. A high negative predictive value may allow it to provide a screening test for CHD.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Carcinoid Heart Disease / blood*
  • Carcinoid Heart Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Echocardiography
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood*
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain