Association of Change in N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Following Initiation of Sacubitril-Valsartan Treatment With Cardiac Structure and Function in Patients With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction

JAMA. 2019 Sep 17;322(11):1085-1095. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.12821.


Importance: In patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), treatment with sacubitril-valsartan reduces N-terminal pro-b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentrations. The effect of sacubitril-valsartan on cardiac remodeling is uncertain.

Objective: To determine whether NT-proBNP changes in patients with HFrEF treated with sacubitril-valsartan correlate with changes in measures of cardiac volume and function.

Design, setting, and participants: Prospective, 12-month, single-group, open-label study of patients with HFrEF enrolled in 78 outpatient sites in the United States. Sacubitril-valsartan was initiated and the dose adjusted. Enrollment commenced on October 25, 2016, and follow-up was completed on October 22, 2018.

Exposures: NT-proBNP concentrations among patients treated with sacubitril-valsartan.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was the correlation between changes in log2-NT-proBNP concentrations and left ventricular (LV) EF, LV end-diastolic volume index (LVEDVI), LV end-systolic volume index (LVESVI), left atrial volume index (LAVI), and ratio of early transmitral Doppler velocity/early diastolic annular velocity (E/e') at 12 months.

Results: Among 794 patients (mean age, 65.1 years; 226 women [28.5%]; mean LVEF = 28.2%), 654 (82.4%) completed the study. The median NT-proBNP concentration at baseline was 816 pg/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 332-1822) and 455 pg/mL (IQR, 153-1090) at 12 months (difference, P < .001). At 12 months, the change in log2-NT-proBNP concentration was correlated with changes in LVEF (r = -0.381 [IQR, -0.448 to -0.310]; P < .001), LVEDVI (r = 0.320 [IQR, 0.246 to 0.391]; P < .001), LVESVI (r = 0.405 [IQR, 0.335 to 0.470]; P < .001), LAVI (r = 0.263 [IQR, 0.186 to 0.338]; P < .001), and E/e' (r = 0.269 [IQR, 0.182 to 0.353]; P < .001). At 12 months, LVEF increased from 28.2% to 37.8% (difference, 9.4% [95% CI, 8.8% to 9.9%]; P < .001), while LVEDVI decreased from 86.93 to 74.15 mL/m2 (difference, -12.25 mL/m2 [IQR, -12.92 to -11.58]; P < .001) and LVESVI decreased from 61.68 to 45.46 mL/m2 (difference, -15.29 mL/m2 [95% CI, -16.03 to -14.55]; P < .001). LAVI and E/e' ratio also decreased significantly. The most frequent adverse events were hypotension (17.6%), dizziness (16.8%), hyperkalemia (13.2%), and worsening kidney function (12.3%).

Conclusions and relevance: In this exploratory study of patients with HFrEF treated with sacubitril-valsartan, reduction in NT-proBNP concentration was weakly yet significantly correlated with improvements in markers of cardiac volume and function at 12 months. The observed reverse cardiac remodeling may provide a mechanistic explanation for the effects of sacubitril-valsartan in patients with HFrEF.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT02887183.

Associated data