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- BNP, B-type natriuretic peptide
- NT-proBNP, N-terminal proBNP
- PCW, pulmonary capillary wedge
- PVRI, pulmonary vascular resistance index
Heart failure is a leading cause of mortality in the USA and Europe, and the ability to predict prognosis is essential for optimal allocation of treatments. Biomarkers offering prognostic information in patients with heart failure have recently entered practice. Although B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is an established biomarker,1 uric acid may also have prognostic value.2,3
Increases in BNP results primarily from increasing cardiac filling pressures, whereas increases in uric acid are associated with increased vascular tone4 and depressed myocardial contractility via increased xanthine oxidase activity.5 Thus, uric acid, like BNP, could be associated with haemodynamic compromise in heart failure. We tested the hypothesis that increased uric acid levels are associated with worsening haemodynamic compromise in patients with heart failure independent of BNP.
Study patients were referred for right heart catheterisation between 1 January 2003 and 1 July 2004. Right atrial, pulmonary arterial and pulmonary capillary wedge (PCW) pressures were measured using a balloon-tipped, flow-directed catheter. Cardiac output was determined by thermodilution. Heart transplant recipients or patients currently receiving synthetic human BNP were excluded. Uric acid and N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) levels were drawn during the right heart catheterisation. The study was approved by the Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board.
Patients were divided into groups on the basis of the median serum uric acid and NT-proBNP levels: low uric acid and low NT-proBNP (n = 27), high uric acid and low NT-proBNP (n = 24), low uric acid and high NT-proBNP (n = 22), and high uric acid and high NT-proBNP (n = 33). We compared haemodynamic parameters between groups using linear …