Background: Congestive heart failure results in biatrial stretch, which stimulates myocyte release of atrial natriuretic factor (1-126). The N-terminal fragment, proatrial natriuretic factor(1-98), (proANF), is released on an equimolar basis with the C-terminal (99-126) active hormone and may be assayed simply because of prolonged in vitro stability. Proatrial natriuretic factor has been shown to be predictive of clinical status in patients with congestive heart failure. This retrospective analysis was undertaken to evaluate the relationship between N-terminal atrial natriuretic factor(1-98) and survival in patients with stable congestive heart failure.
Methods and results: Proatrial natriuretic factor was sampled from 316 patients (mean age, 68 (+/-) 11 years; 71% men) recruited from an outpatient heart failure clinic. The mean ejection fraction was 34 (+/-) 13%. Seventy-three deaths were registered during the period of data collection (42 months). Deaths per proANF quartile (n = 79) were as follows: 2 (2.5%) in quartile I. 13 (16.5%) in quartile II, 21 (26.6%) in quartile III, and 37 (46.8%) in quartile IV. The odds ratio estimates for death adjusted for age and sex were 7.6, 13.9, and 33.9 for the second, third, and fourth quartiles, respectively. Survival curves constructed according to proANF quartiles demonstrate significant differences in mortality rates. The correlation with death was greater for proANF as compared with left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (P < .001), systolic pulmonary artery pressure (P < .005), or ejection fraction (P < .05).
Conclusion: These data indicate that the concentration of proANF is related to prognosis in patients with heart failure and that moderate elevation is associated with markedly decreased survival. Analysis should be of practical value in the assessment of prognosis in this heterogeneous population.