Background: The aim of this study was to assess the value of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in predicting late cardiotoxicity in patients treated with not-high-dose chemotherapy (NHDC), and to compare the predictive value of NT-proBNP and cardiac troponin I (cTnI).
Methods: In 71 patients undergoing NHDC with anthracyclines, NT-proBNP and cTnI levels were measured before and 24 h after each NHDC cycle. Left ventricular (LV) function was assessed by echocardiography at baseline, every two NHDC cycles, at the end of chemotherapy, and at 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-up.
Results: During NHDC, only NT-proBNP showed abnormal values. According to NT-proBNP behaviour, patients were divided into two groups: group A (n=50) with normal (n=23) or transiently elevated NT-proBNP levels (n=27), and group B (n=21) with persistently elevated NT-proBNP levels. At follow-up, LV impairment was significantly worse in group B than in group A. %Δ (baseline-peak) NT-proBNP was predictive of LV impairment at 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-up, with a cutoff of 36%.
Conclusion: Serial measurements of NT-proBNP may be a useful tool for the early detection of patients treated with NHDC at high risk of developing cardiotoxicity.