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Background: The N-terminal portion of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) has been identified as an indicator of prognosis in different cardiovascular diseases. The objective of this study was to determine the utility of measuring plasma NT-proBNP levels in patients with acute coronary syndromes.

Methods and results: We studied 66 patients admitted in our division for acute coronary syndromes. Patients underwent a venous blood sample within 24 h from the admission to determine NT-proBNP levels. Increasing plasma levels of NT-proBNP (in tertiles) was associated with a greater history of hypertension and current smoking, whereas biochemical parameters were associated with higher level of creatine kinase-MB mass, cardiac troponin I, and renal insufficiency. We detected correlations between the values of NT-proBNP and several variables; positive correlations were found between the values of NT-proBNP and creatinine (r= 0354; P=0.0024), cardiac troponin I levels (r=0320; P=0.0111), and creatine kinase-MB mass values (r=0261; P=0.035). An interesting result of our study was a significantly longer hospitalization in those patients belonging to the third tertile compared with those belonging to the first one (P=0.02). Finally, we showed a higher N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide level in patients with poor outcome during the hospitalization (left-ventricular systolic dysfunction, recurrent ischemic events, or death) compared with those who did not (3204 /-1841 vs. 836 /-1136, P=0.003).

Conclusion: Measurement of B-type natriuretic peptide provides predictive information during the hospitalization in patients with acute coronary syndromes.

(C) 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.