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OBJECTIVES - The aim of this study was to evaluate whether chronic heart failure (HF) therapy guided by concentrations of amino-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is superior to standard of care (SOC) management.
BACKGROUND - It is unclear whether standard HF treatment plus a goal of reducing NT-proBNP concentrations improves outcomes compared with standard management alone.
METHODS - In a prospective single-center trial, 151 subjects with HF due to left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction were randomized to receive either standard HF care plus a goal to reduce NT-proBNP concentrations ≤1,000 pg/ml or SOC management. The primary endpoint was total cardiovascular events between groups compared using generalized estimating equations. Secondary endpoints included effects of NT-proBNP-guided care on patient quality of life as well as cardiac structure and function, assessed with echocardiography.
RESULTS - Through a mean follow-up period of 10 ± 3 months, a significant reduction in the primary endpoint of total cardiovascular events was seen in the NT-proBNP arm compared with SOC (58 events vs. 100 events, p = 0.009; logistic odds for events 0.44, p = 0.02); Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated significant differences in time to first event, favoring NT-proBNP-guided care (p = 0.03). No age interaction was found, with elderly patients benefitting similarly from NT-proBNP-guided care as younger subjects. Compared with SOC, NT-proBNP-guided patients had greater improvements in quality of life, demonstrated greater relative improvements in LV ejection fraction, and had more significant improvements in both LV end-systolic and -diastolic volume indexes.
CONCLUSIONS - In patients with HF due to LV systolic dysfunction, NT-proBNP-guided therapy was superior to SOC, with reduced event rates, improved quality of life, and favorable effects on cardiac remodeling. (Use of NT-proBNP Testing to Guide Heart Failure Therapy in the Outpatient Setting; NCT00351390).
Copyright © 2011 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.