07 Sep 08

Prognostic value of brain natriuretic peptide in acute pulmonary embolism

Posted in BNP, Venous thromboembolism at 19:27 by Laci

By G Coutancel, O Le Page, T Lo and M Hamon

Critical Care 2008;12:R109

The relationship between brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) increase in acute pulmonary embolism (PE) and the increase in mortality and morbidity has frequently been suggested in small studies but its global prognostic performance remains largely undefined. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of data to examine the prognostic value of elevated BNP for short term all-cause mortality and serious adverse events.

Methods
The authors reviewed PubMed, BioMedCentral, and the Cochrane database and conducted a manual review of article bibliographies. Using a prespecified search strategy, we included a study if it used BNP or N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide (NT-pro BNP) biomarkers as a diagnostic test in patients with documented pulmonary embolism and if it reported death, the primary endpoint of the meta-analysis, in relation to BNP testing. Studies were excluded if they were performed in patients without certitude of PE or in a subset of patients with cardiogenic shock. Twelve relevant studies involving a total of 868 patients with acute PE at baseline were included in the meta-analysis using a random-effects model.

Results
Elevated BNP levels were significantly associated with short-term all-cause mortality (odds ratio [OR], 6.57; 95% confidence interval (CI), 3.11 to 13.91), with death resulting from pulmonary embolism (OR, 6.10; 95% CI, 2.58 to 14.25), and with serious adverse events (OR, 7.47; 95% CI, 4.20 to 13.15). The corresponding positive and negative predictive values for death were 14% (95%, 11 to 18) and 99% (95% CI, 97 to 100), respectively.

Conclusions
This meta-analysis indicates that while elevated BNP levels can help to identify patients with acute pulmonary embolism at high risk of death and adverse outcome events, the high negative predictive value of normal BNP levels is certainly more useful for clinicians to select patients with a likely uneventful follow-up.

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