BMC Cardiovascular Disorders (2020-06-01)

The minimal informative monitoring interval of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide in patients with stable heart failure

  • Zhehao Dai,
  • Taku Asano,
  • Osamu Takahashi,
  • Nobuyuki Komiyama,
  • Sachiko Ohde

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 20, no. 1
pp. 1 – 9


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Abstract Background N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a potential biomarker for monitoring the status of heart failure. However, the optimal monitoring interval of NT-proBNP is unknown. This study sought to investigate the minimal informative monitoring interval of NT-proBNP in patients with stable chronic heart failure. Methods This retrospective cohort study included patients who were admitted due to heart failure and subsequently followed with serial NT-proBNP measurements in a tertiary hospital. We analyzed NT-proBNP measured between six months after discharge and the earliest timepoint of: an alteration of medication regimen, readmission due to worsening of heart failure, or all-cause death. To distinguish progression of the disease from biological variability and measurement error, the signal-to-noise ratio method was applied with a random-effects model. Results In the 368 patients included, NT-proBNP was measured for a median 6 times. In the random-effects model, signal (progression of disease) exceeded noise (biological variability and measurement error) at 7.9 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.1–9.6), while noise corresponded to a 61% increase from baseline. In stratified analysis using the AHEAD risk score, the minimal informative monitoring interval shortened as the risk score increased (0–1 point: 12.2 months [95%CI: 10.3–14.4]; 2–3 points: 8.0 months [95%CI: 6.8–9.7]; 4–5 points: 3.3 months [95%CI: 3.0–3.8]). Conclusions In patients with stable chronic heart failure, the minimal informative monitoring interval of NT-proBNP measurement was 7.9 months in the current population, which varied with underlying risks. The optimal monitoring interval could be lengthened for patients at lower risks.