14 Apr 08

The use of N-Terminal pro-B Type Natriuretic Peptide in a pre-operative setting to predict left ventricular systolic dysfunction on echocardiogram

Posted in Anesthesia, BNP, Echocardiography, Heart failure/Cardiogenic shock at 13:28 by Laci

By P B Messer, R Singh, F T McAuley, G Handley, B Peaston and C P Snowden

Anaesthesia 2008;63:482-487

Heart failure is a major risk factor for adverse postoperative events following non-cardiac surgery. The use of transthoracic echocardiogram as a pre-operative investigation to assess cardiac dysfunction has limitations in this setting. The N-Terminal fragment of B-Type natriuretic peptide (NT proBNP) has been used in screening for heart failure. We have investigated the use of NT proBNP as a screening tool for left ventricular systolic dysfunction to reduce the requirement for pre-operative echocardiograms. Ninety-eight pre-operative non-cardiac surgical patients scheduled to undergo echocardiography were assessed clinically and with an NT proBNP measurement. Echocardiogram was used to define two groups of patients depending on the presence or absence of abnormal left ventricular function and the NT proBNP level was compared between the groups using non-parametric and receiver-operator-characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. In terms of pre-operative screening, a NT proBNP of <38.2 pmol.l−1 had a 100% negative predictive value in predicting patients with normal left ventricular systolic function and would have prevented the requirement for echocardiogram in 43% of pre-operative patients. NT proBNP was superior to electrocardiological and clinical criteria for detection of a normal echocardiogram. This may have significant impact in the pre-operative assessment of patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

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