Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

International multi-center study confirms value of blood test to diagnose heart failure

17.11.2005


Assay powerfully identifies patients’ short-term risk of death



A large-scale international study has demonstrated the usefulness of a blood test to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of acute heart failure in emergency room patients and shows that the test also can identify patients at a higher risk for death. The report from investigators in the U.S., the Netherlands, Spain and New Zealand also clarifies the importance of age-specific levels of a protein called NT-proBNP that definitively diagnose heart failure. The report will appear in the European Heart Journal and is receiving early online release.

"In an analysis of patients from several parts of the world, we showed that this test is greatly valuable in the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with both systolic and diastolic heart failure," says James Januzzi Jr., MD, of the MGH Cardiology Division, the paper’s co-lead author. "It’s a single blood test that can provide multiple pieces of important information."


Congestive heart failure, which occurs when an impaired heart muscle cannot pump blood efficiently, is a growing health problem and major cause of cardiac death. The diagnosis of heart failure may be challenging because its symptoms can overlap those of other conditions. Earlier this year Januzzi and colleagues from the MGH published the PRIDE study, the first prospective American trial measuring NT-proBNP in patients coming to a hospital emergency department with shortness of breath. Other research groups, including collaborators in the current study, have conducted single-site investigations supporting the usefulness of NT-proBNP for confirming a diagnosis of heart failure.

The International Collaborative of NT-proBNP (ICON) Study brought together data from the PRIDE study and similar information from the Christchurch Cardioendocrine Research Group in New Zealand and the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain, with previously unpublished information gathered by researchers from the University Hospital of Maastricht, The Netherlands, led by co-lead author Roland van Kimmenade, MD. Their analysis consisted of information from 1,256 patients, of which 720 had acute heart failure.

As in the earlier studies, NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in patients found to have heart failure and highest in those with the most severe symptoms. The larger scale of the study permitted more in-depth analysis of data, allowing the establishment of age-specific NT-proBNP levels defining a clear diagnosis of heart failure. The measurement below which heart failure could be ruled out was the same for all age groups.

Analysis of the prospective value of NT-proBNP testing showed that patients who died within a little more than two months after symptom onset had significantly higher blood levels of the protein. In fact, NT-proBNP measurement was the single strongest predictor of death within that time period, and those with the most significantly elevated levels had a five-fold increase in the risk of death.

"Because patients with acute heart failure release such high levels of NT-proBNP, there had been conflicting information about the usefulness of a single measurement for establishing prognosis, but this analysis shows the initial assay to be strongly predictive of short-term outcome," says Januzzi. "Our results underscore this test’s exceptional usefulness for diagnosis and for identifying those patients who should have higher levels of monitoring and more aggressive treatment. ICON has set world-wide standards for NT-proBNP testing in patients coming to hospital emergency departments with shortness of breath."

An assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Januzzi adds, "This study was characterized by exceptional collaboration among these four medical centers. The group from New Zealand pioneered the use of this test; the researchers from the Netherlands contributed the largest population of subjects with acute heart failure; and the clinical investigators from Barcelona previously published one of the first analyses of NT-proBNP in the emergency department setting. We are continuing the ICON initiative in several follow-up studies, two of which have been submitted for publication."

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast

20.02.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>