Higher BNP/NT‐pro BNP levels stratify prognosis equally well in patients with and without heart failure : a meta‐analysis

Aims: The initial and dynamic levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal-prohormone BNP (NT-proBNP) are routinely used in clinical practice to identify patients with acute and chronic heart failure. In addition, BNP/NT-proBNP levels might be useful for risk stratification in patients with and without heart failure. We performed a meta-analysis to investigate, whether the value of BNP/NT-proBNP as predictors of long-term prognosis differentiates in cohorts with and without heart failure.

Methods and results: We systematically searched established scientific databases for studies evaluating the prognostic value of BNP or NT-proBNP. Random effect models were constructed. Data from 66 studies with overall 83 846 patients (38 studies with 46 099 patients with heart failure and 28 studies with 37 747 patients without heart failure) were included. In the analysis of the log-transformed BNP/NT-proBNP levels, an increase in natriuretic peptides by one standard deviation was associated with a 1.7-fold higher MACE rate (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.74[1.58–1.91], P < 0.0001). The effect sizes were comparable, with a substantial overlap in the confidence intervals, when comparing studies involving patients with and without heart failure (1.75[1.54–2.0], P < 0.0001 vs. 1.74[1.47–2.06], P < 0.0001). Similar results were observed when stratifying by quartiles of BNP/NT-proBNP. In studies using pre-defined cut-off-values for BNP/NT-proBNP, elevated levels were associated with the long-term prognosis, independent of the specific cut-off value used.

Conclusions: BNP/NT-proBNP levels are predictors for adverse long-term outcome in patients with and without known heart failure. Further research is necessary to establish appropriate thresholds, especially in non-heart failure cohorts.


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