Background: Chronic heart failure is an important cause for morbidity and mortality in adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD). While NT-proBNP is an established biomarker for heart failure of non-congenital origin, its value in ACHD has limitations. Asymmetrical dimethylarginine (ADMA) correlates with disease severity and independently predicts adverse clinical events in heart failure of non-congenital origin. Its role in ACHD has not been investigated.
Methods: In 102 patients ADMA and NT-proBNP were measured and related to NYHA class, systemic ventricular function and parameters of cardiopulmonary exercise testing.
Results: In contrast to NT-proBNP ADMA differentiated between NYHA classes I-III. Both, ADMA and NT-proBNP showed a good correlation with parameters of cardiopulmonary exercise testing with comparable receiver-operating characteristic curves for identifying patients with severely limited cardiopulmonary exercise capacity.
Conclusion: ADMA seems to be a better biomarker than NT-proBNP for the assessment of NYHA class and as a good as NT-proBNP for the estimation of maximum exercise capacity in adults with congenital heart disease. Its use in clinical routine should be evaluated.