Background: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) plays a key role in the regulation of volume homeostasis, and elevated blood levels of BNP are associated with end-stage renal disease. Renal transplantation leads to a decrease of elevated BNP levels with established graft function. Assessment of N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP) is established as reflecting volume homeostasis, and we therefore studied the relationship between NT-proBNP and allograft function in a prospective study.
Methods: NT-proBNP was assessed in 76 patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing renal transplantation. Patients were grouped according to immediate or delayed graft function. The degree of allograft function was assessed from the estimated glomerular filtration rate according to the MDRD formula.
Results: In patients with immediate graft function (n = 48), median NT-proBNP decreased immediately after transplantation; in patients with delayed function (n = 28), median NT-proBNP first increased and then decreased as function improved. Patients with early acute rejection showed significantly higher NT-proBNP levels prior to transplantation than patients without rejection. NT-proBNP levels measured 2 or 3 weeks post-transplant were significantly correlated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate 1 year after transplantation.
Conclusions: An association was observed between renal allograft function and post-transplant levels of NT-proBNP. The association was not found to be a useful general predictor for graft function in individual patients in a clinical setting, as the range of NT-proBNP levels measured was too wide.