Ischemic heart disease is a leading cause of heart failure (HF), which continues to carry a high mortality despite considerable improvements in diagnosis and treatment. N-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) measured at rest is a recognized diagnostic and prognostic marker of HF of reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF); however, its value in patients with HF of midranged/preserved ejection fraction (HFmrEF/HFpEF) is not well established. We examined the prognostic value of NT-pro-BNP during recovery from exercise in patients with ischemic HF (IHF) of any ejection fraction.
Patients (n = 213) with HF (123 HFrEF, 90 HFmrEF/HFpEF) underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Doppler echocardiography was used to estimate resting pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE). NT-pro-BNP was determined at rest, peak exercise, and after 1 min of exercise recovery.
Patients with HFrEF had higher plasma levels of NT-pro-BNP at rest, peak exercise, and recovery than those with HFmrEF/HFpEF (984 ± 865 vs 780 ± 805; 1012 ± 956 vs 845 ± 895; 990 ± 1013 vs 808 ± 884 pg/mL; P < .01, respectively), whereas ΔNT-pro-BNP peak/rest and ΔNT-pro-BNP recovery/peak were similar (60 ± 100 vs 50 ± 96; −25 ± 38 vs −20 ± 41 pg/mL, P > .05). During the tracking period (22.4 ± 20.3 mo), 34 patients died, 2 underwent cardiac transplantation, and 3 had left ventricular assist device implantation. In a multivariate regression model, only NT-pro-BNP during exercise recovery and TAPSE/PASP were retained in the regression for the prediction of adverse events (χ2 = 11.4, P <.001).
NT-pro-BNP value during exercise recovery may be a robust predictor of adverse events in patients with IHF across a wide range of ejection fraction.