Pleural Fluid-to-Blood BNP Ratio May Contribute to Prognosis in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Clin Pract. 2023 Sep 13;13(5):1111-1122. doi: 10.3390/clinpract13050099.


Background: Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) seems to be produced from malignant mesothelial cells other than cardiomyocytes. We aimed to evaluate whether an increased pleural fluid-to-blood BNP ratio in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) could facilitate prognosis beyond diagnosis.

Materials and methods: Patients with MPM were included (observational study). One- and two-year survival and factors affecting it were tested. To evaluate the prognostic significance of the natriuretic peptide precursor B (NPPB) gene expression in MPM, we constructed a survival curve from data derived from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

Results: Nineteen consecutive patients with MPM were included (age: 67 (61, 80), male 78.9%). One- and two-year survival were 52.6% and 31.6%, respectively. Age, performance status, and the other variables tested did not differ between survivors and non-survivors. Non-survivors presented higher pleural fluid BNP in two years (699 (210, 5000) vs. 379.5 (5, 567), p = 0.036) and BNP ratios than survivors (1-year: 28.75 (4.05, 150.24) vs. 3.49 (0.3, 26) p = 0.001, 2-years: 22.8 (2.42, 150.24) vs. 3.49 (0.3, 7.76), p = 0.001). One- and two-year survival rates in patients with BNP ratios above/equal to the median value (8.82) were 20% and 0%, and 88.9% and 66.7%, respectively, in patients with BNP ratios below 8.82 (p = 0.006 and p = 0.002, respectively). MPM patients with low NPPB expression presented significantly higher survival rates compared to patients with higher expressions (p = 0.032).

Conclusion: A high pleural fluid/blood BNP ratio, an easily performed in everyday practice, costless biomarker seems to predict poorer survival better than the commonly reported prognostic factors in MPM.

Keywords: brain natriuretic peptide; malignant pleural mesothelioma; prognosis; survival.

Grants and funding

The study did not receive any funding.