N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide and Clinical Outcomes: Vericiguat Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction Study

JACC Heart Fail. 2020 Nov;8(11):931-939. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2020.08.008. Epub 2020 Oct 7.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the treatment effect of vericiguat in relation to N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels at randomization.

Background: Vericiguat compared with placebo reduced the primary outcome of cardiovascular death (CVD) or heart failure hospitalization (HFH) in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in the VICTORIA (A Study of Vericiguat in Participants With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction) trial. Because an interaction existed between treatment and the primary outcome according to pre-specified quartiles of NT-proBNP at randomization, we examined this further.

Methods: This study evaluated the NT-proBNP relationship with the primary outcome in 4,805 of 5,050 patients as a risk-adjusted, log-transformed continuous variable. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are presented.

Results: Median NT-proBNP was 2,816 pg/ml (25th to 75th percentile: 1,556 to 5,314 pg/ml). The study treatment effect varied across the spectrum of NT-proBNP at randomization (with log2 transformation, p for interaction = 0.002). A significant association between treatment effects existed in patients with levels <4,000 pg/ml and remained evident up to 8,000 pg/ml. A 23% relative risk reduction occurred in the primary endpoint with NT-proBNP ≤4,000 pg/ml (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.68 to 0.88). For NT-proBNP values ≤4,000 pg/ml (n = 3,100), the HR was 0.78 (95% CI: 0.67 to 0.90) for HFH and 0.75 (95% CI: 0.60 to 0.94) for CVD. For NT-proBNP ≤8,000 pg/ml (n = 4,133), the HR was 0.85 (95% CI: 0.76 to 0.95) for the primary outcome, 0.84 (95% CI: 0.75 to 0.95) for HFH, and 0.84 (95% CI: 0.71 to 0.99) for CVD. For NT-proBNP >8,000 pg/ml (n = 672), the HR was 1.16 (95% CI: 0.94 to 1.41) for the primary outcome.

Conclusions: A reduction in the primary composite endpoint and its CVD and HFH components was observed in patients on vericiguat compared with subjects on placebo with NT-proBNP levels up to 8,000 pg/ml. This provided new insight into the benefit observed in high-risk patients with worsening HFrEF. (A Study of Vericiguat in Participants With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction [HFrEF] [MK-1242-001] [VICTORIA]; NCT02861534).

Keywords: clinical outcomes; heart failure; heart failure with reduced ejection fraction; natriuretic peptide.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood*
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Precursors
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Stroke Volume / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protein Precursors
  • Pyrimidines
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • vericiguat

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02861534