Despite widespread testing, the utility of aminoterminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) for diagnosis or risk assessment in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) in the emergency department (ED) remains unclear. NT-pro-BNP was measured in subjects with dyspnea in the ED. A final diagnosis of acute heart failure (HF) was determined by blinded study physicians using all available hospital records. Vital status was assessed at 1 year; independent predictors of death were identified using Cox analysis. Of 599 subjects, 157 (26.2%) had DM, which was an independent predictor of a final diagnosis of acute HF. In patients diagnosed with acute HF, median concentrations of NT-pro-BNP were similar in patients with and without DM (4,784 vs 3,382 pg/ml, respectively, p = 0.93). In dyspneic subjects without acute HF, median concentrations of NT-pro-BNP were significantly higher in patients with DM (242 vs 115 pg/ml, p = 0.01), but this difference was no longer significant after adjusting for relevant covariates. The area under the curve for NT-pro-BNP to diagnose acute HF in subjects with DM was 0.94 (p <0.001). Using age-adjusted cutpoints, NT-pro-BNP was 92% sensitive and 90% specific for the diagnosis of HF in diabetic subjects. In diabetic patients, a NT-pro-BNP level ≥986 pg/ml was independently associated with an increased risk of death at 1 year (hazard ratio 3.42, 95% confidence interval 1.09 to 10.7, p <0.001). In conclusion, NT-pro-BNP testing offers valuable diagnostic and prognostic information in the evaluation of dyspneic patients with DM in the ED, using identical cutpoints as the population as whole.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine