B-type natriuretic peptide is a biomarker for pulmonary hypertension in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Cuna, Alain; Kandasamy, Jegen; Fineberg, Naomi; Sims, Brian
May 2013
Research & Reports in Neonatology;May2013, Vol. 3, p33
Academic Journal
Background: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a cardiac biomarker useful in screening for pulmonary hypertension (PH) in adults. It is possible that BNP may also be useful in detecting PH among preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Objective: To determine the utility of BNP for identification of PH among preterm infants with BPD. Methods: We retrospectively identified preterm infants with BPD who underwent screening echocardiography for suspected PH and had serum BNP levels measured within 10 days before or after echocardiography. Eligible infants were classified based on echocardiographic diagnosis of either PH or no PH. Median and interquartile ranges (IQR) of BNP values were compared, and area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to determine the optimum threshold value for detection of PH. Results: Twenty-five preterm infants with BPD (mean gestational age 26.5 ± 1.7 weeks, mean birth weight 747 ± 248 g) were identified. The median difference in days between echocardiography and BNP measurement was 1 day (IQR 0-3, range 0-10 days). Based on echocardiography, 16 were diagnosed with PH and nine without PH. No significant difference in terms of gestational age, birth weight, sex, race, or respiratory support was found between the two groups. Median (IQR) BNP values of those with PH were higher than those without PH (413 [212-1178] pg/mL versus 55 [21-84] pg/mL, P < 0.001). AUC of ROC analysis showed that a BNP value of 117 pg/mL had 93.8% sensitivity and 100% specificity for detecting PH. Conclusion: BNP estimation may be useful for screening of PH in infants with BPD.


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