Background: The cost-effective use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) for the prevention of sudden cardiac death requires identification of patients at risk for ventricular tachyarrhythmias, not just for total mortality.
Objective: To determine whether N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) or B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) are independent predictors of ventricular arrhythmias in patients receiving primary prevention ICDs.
Methods: One hundred sixty-one patients with NT-proBNP levels and 403 patients with BNP levels at the time of ICD implantation were retrospectively assessed for the occurrence of first appropriate ICD therapy and mortality.
Results: In multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, NT-proBNP or BNP levels in the upper 50th percentile were the strongest predictor of ICD therapy after adjustment for sex, age, left ventricular ejection fraction, New York Heart Association class, history of coronary artery disease, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine clearance, and history of atrial fibrillation (hazard ratio [HR] 5.75, P < .001 for NT-proBNP; HR 3.40, P = .01 for BNP). Patients were divided into quartiles on the basis of NT-proBNP or BNP levels. The adjusted HR for ICD therapy in the highest and second highest quartiles of NT-proBNP levels (HR 12.9, P < .001, and HR 4.6, P = .03, respectively) were higher than the adjusted HR for total mortality in these 2 quartiles (HR 3.4, P = .021 and HR 2.3, P = .13, respectively). Similarly, the adjusted HR for ICD therapy in the highest and second highest quartiles of BNP levels (HR 4.74, P = .01 and HR 2.17, P = .04, respectively) were higher than the adjusted HR for total mortality in these 2 quartiles (HR 3.05, P = .01 and HR 1.07, P = .3, respectively).
Conclusion: In this study, elevated baseline NT-proBNP and BNP levels are independently associated with the risk for ventricular tachyarrhythmias, which significantly exceeds the risk for total mortality, in multivariable analysis.
Keywords: BNP; ICD; NT-proBNP; Sudden cardiac death; Ventricular arrhythmias.
Copyright © 2014 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.