BACKGROUND - There has been debate regarding whether natriuretic peptides can be used as a marker to distinguish cardioembolic (CE) origin of ischemic stroke from other subtypes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to study the value of N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in differentiating CE from other subtypes of stroke in patients with acute ischemic stroke.
METHODS - All 125 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke in a 1-year period were included. Admission blood samples of all patients were analyzed for the serum level of NT-proBNP. Patients were evaluated for etiology of stroke by imaging modalities and classified based on Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment criteria. Medical history and risk factors for vascular diseases were also obtained. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used for estimating the diagnostic performance of NT-proBNP levels.
RESULTS - Patients were a mean of 67.5 ± 12.6 years of age, and 60 (48%) were men. The most frequent subtype of stroke (57 patients) was CE (45.6%). Levels of NT-proBNP at admission were significantly higher in the CE group (P = .001). After omitting confounding variables, NT-proBNP levels and age were independent predictors of CE stroke subtype. ROC analysis revealed that the diagnostic performance of NT-proBNP levels (area under the curve), optimum cutoff point and its sensitivity and specificity were 0.882 ± 0.031pg/mL, 342 pg/mL, 93%, and 75%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - NT-proBNP has an acceptable diagnostic value in distinguishing CE ischemic stroke from other subtypes. It can be used to differentiate the stroke subtype and facilitate the treatment process in these patients.
Copyright © 2013 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.