Amino-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a well-established prognostic factor in heart failure (HF). However, numerous causes may lead to elevations in NT-proBNP, and thus, an increased NT-proBNP level alone is not sufficient to predict outcome. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of two acute response markers, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP), in patients with an increased NT-proBNP level.
The 278 patients were classified into three groups by etiology: 1) acute coronary syndrome (ACS) (n=62), 2) non-ACS cardiac disease (n=156), and 3) infectious disease (n=60). Survival was determined on day 1, 7, 14, 21, 28, 60, 90, 120, and 150 after enrollment.
H-FABP (P<0.001), NT-proBNP (P=0.006), hsCRP (P<0.001) levels, and survival (P<0.001) were significantly different in the three disease groups. Patients were divided into three classes by using receiver operating characteristic curves for NT-proBNP, H-FABP, and hsCRP. Patients with elevated NT-proBNP (≥3,856 pg/mL) and H-FABP (≥8.8 ng/mL) levels were associated with higher hazard ratio for mortality (5.15 in NT-proBNP and 3.25 in H-FABP). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed H-FABP was a better predictor of 60-day mortality than NT-proBNP.
The combined measurement of H-FABP with NT-proBNP provides a highly reliable means of short-term mortality prediction for patients hospitalized for ACS, non-ACS cardiac disease, or infectious disease.