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Does Cardiac Morphology Predict Plasma Brain Natriuretic Peptide Levels in Adolescent Athletes?

Nilsson, Kurt J MD, MS*†; Womack, Michael S MD; Pfeiffer, Ronald P EdD, LAT, ATC§; Harris, Chad PhD, CSCS; DeBeliso, Mark PhD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: March 2009 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 130-133
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e318194f0d6
Brief Report

Objective: The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship of plasma levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) to physiologic parameters and cardiac morphologic characteristics in a population of young athletes. Our hypothesis is that physiologic and cardiac morphologic characteristics do not predict BNP levels in adolescent athletes.

Design: Observational study.

Setting: Outpatient hospital.

Participants: Thirty healthy male adolescent high school football players (16.0 ± 1.1 years).

Interventions: Physical exam, electrocardiography, plasma BNP measurement by rapid fluorescent immunoassay, and limited echocardiography.

Main Outcome Measures: Null hypothesis-physiologic parameters and cardiac morphology do not predict plasma BNP levels in healthy adolescent football players. Significance level set at P < 0.05.

Results: Plasma BNP for this population was 11.9 ± 10.2 pg/mL. There was no correlation between BNP and mean arterial pressure (r = −0.09, P = 0.64), body mass index (r = 0.11, P = 0.57), interventricular septal thickness (r = −0.15, P = 0.44), left ventricular (LV) wall thickness (r = 0.00, P = 0.99), relative wall thickness (r = −0.04, P = 0.84), LV mass (r = 0.05, P = 0.79), or LV mass index (r = 0.11, P = 0.55).

Conclusions: Plasma BNP levels in healthy adolescent athletes have no correlation to body mass index or LV mass, even when corrected for body surface area.

From the *Intermountain Orthopaedics and †Mountain States Medical, Boise, Idaho; ‡Pediatric Cardiology, Boise, Idaho; §Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research, Department of Kinesiology, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho; ¶Department of Health Science and Human Performance, Western New Mexico University, Silver City, New Mexico; and ‖Department of Kinesiology, California State University-Monterey Bay, Seaside, California.

Submitted for publication June 5, 2007; accepted September 8, 2008.

Supported by a grant from Biosite, Inc, San Diego, California.

All authors report no conflicting interests.

The authors state that they have no financial interest in the products mentioned within this article.

Findings in this study do not constitute an endorsement of Biosite, Inc, by the authors.

Reprints: Kurt J. Nilsson, MD, MS, Intermountain Orthopaedics, 600 N Robbins Rd, Suite 100, Boise, ID 83702 (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.