OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to characterize the importance of echocardiographic indexes, including newer indexes of diastolic function, as determinants of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in patients with systolic heart failure (SHF). BACKGROUND: Plasma BNP levels have utility for diagnosing and managing heart failure. However, there is significant heterogeneity in BNP levels that is not explained by left ventricular size and function alone. METHODS: In 106 patients with symptomatic SHF (left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] <0.35), we measured plasma BNP levels and performed comprehensive echocardiography with assessment of left ventricular diastolic function, including color M-mode (CMM) and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), and of right ventricular (RV) function. RESULTS: Median plasma BNP levels were elevated and increased with greater severity of diastolic dysfunction. We found significant correlations (p < 0.001 for all) between BNP and indexes of myocardial relaxation (early diastolic velocity: r = -0.26), compliance (deceleration time: r = -0.55), and filling pressure (early transmitral to early annular diastolic velocity ratio: r = 0.51; early transmitral flow to the velocity of early left ventricular flow propagation ratio: r = 0.41). In multivariate analysis, overall diastolic stage, LVEF, RV systolic dysfunction, mitral regurgitation (MR) severity, age and creatinine clearance were independent predictors of BNP levels (model fit r = 0.8, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Plasma BNP levels are significantly related to newer diastolic indexes measured from TDI and CMM in SHF. Heterogeneity of BNP levels in patients with SHF reflects the severity of diastolic abnormality, RV dysfunction, and MR in addition to LVEF, age, and renal function. These findings may explain the powerful relationship of BNP to symptoms and prognosis in SHF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine