Objectives: We investigated whether plasma amino-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a marker of cardiac dysfunction and prognosis measured in CORONA (Controlled Rosuvastatin Multinational Trial in Heart Failure), could be used to identify the severity of heart failure at which statins become ineffective.
Background: Statins reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in many patients with ischemic heart disease but not, overall, those with heart failure. There must be a transition point at which treatment with a statin becomes futile.
Methods: In CORONA, patients with heart failure, reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, and ischemic heart disease were randomly assigned to 10 mg/day rosuvastatin or placebo. The primary composite outcome was cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or stroke.
Results: Of 5,011 patients enrolled, NT-proBNP was measured in 3,664 (73%). The midtertile included values between 103 pmol/l (868 pg/ml) and 277 pmol/l (2,348 pg/ml). Log NT-proBNP was the strongest predictor (per log unit) of every outcome assessed but was strongest for death from worsening heart failure (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.99; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.71 to 2.30), was weaker for sudden death (HR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.52 to 1.88), and was weakest for atherothrombotic events (HR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.40). Patients in the lowest tertile of NT-proBNP had the best prognosis and, if assigned to rosuvastatin rather than placebo, had a greater reduction in the primary end point (HR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.47 to 0.88) than patients in the other tertiles (heterogeneity test, p = 0.0192). This reflected fewer atherothrombotic events and sudden deaths with rosuvastatin.
Conclusions: Patients with heart failure due to ischemic heart disease who have NT-proBNP values <103 pmol/l (868 pg/ml) may benefit from rosuvastatin.
2009 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation