Background NT-proBNP has emerged as a powerful diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in heart disease. Studies showed that NT-proBNP is a sensitive biomarker for identifying patients with heart failure caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) related myocarditis. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the elevated concentration of NT-proBNP and liver diseases.
Methods 223 serum samples from blood donors were collected as a control group, and 644 samples were obtained from patients infected by hepatitis viruses including 493 HBV (364 chronic hepatitis B, 86 hepatocellular carcinoma and 43 liver cirrhosis) and 151 HCV. All samples were assayed with an Elecsys immunoassay analyser for NT-proBNP concentration.
Results The mean concentration of NT-proBNP in the control group was 21.77±15.56 pg/ml which showed no significant variation with age or gender. Both the mean value and the rate of abnormality of NT-proBNP were significantly higher for the HBV and HCV infected groups as compared to the control group. The mean NT-proBNP value (380.24 pg/ml) and abnormality rate (38.41%) in the HCV group were higher than that of HBV group. For samples from patients with HBV related hepatic disease/pathology, the mean NT-proBNP value (517.19 pg/ml) and abnormality rate (58.14%) were the highest in the liver cirrhosis group.
Conclusions The elevation of NT-proBNP in patients with progressed liver disease in this study suggested the presence of cardiac dysfunction.