Background Neurohormonal dysregulation contributes to heart failure (HF) progression. We sought to determine the effect of cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) on the nerve growth factor (NGF), a biomarker that promotes the maturation, and survival of sympathetic nerve endings, and amino-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP), a marker of type III collagen synthesis.
Methods This prospective study enrolled 20 healthy age-matched controls and 45 consecutive patients (pts) who received CRT-D. NYHA class, distance of 6-min walk and echocardiography and plasma concentrations of NGF, PIIINP, b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (EPI) and dopamine (DA) were measured before and 6 month after CRT. Response to CRT was defined as ≥15% reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume index (LVESVI) at 6-month follow-up.
Results The baseline BNP (557±692 vs 47±35, p<0.01) and PIIINP (8.22±3.76 vs 5.36±1.47, p<0.01) were elevated in HF compared to controls, while NGF, NE, EPI and DA levels were not different. Twenty two of 45 pts (49%) responded to CRT. The responder group demonstrated significant decrease only in BNP level (p=0.04) at 6-month follow-up, parallelling with the clinical improvements (table 1). The baseline PIIINP was lower in CRT responders than non-responders (p=0.04), and it correlated with the reduction of LVESVI (p=0.01, r=−0.50) after CRT. The further multivariate analysis showed only the plasma PIIINP level among clinic characters and all the biomarkers can predict the improvement of LVESV index (OR=8.33, P=0.01).
Conclusion The low PIIINP level, which is consistent with possible less cardiac fibrosis and a more plastic ventricle at baseline, is associated with CRT responsiveness. Contrary to previous reports, the NGF levels were not reduced during HF and that there was no NGF rebound in CRT responders.