N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide testing in the emergency department: Beneficial effects on hospitalization, costs, and outcome

Joost Rutten, Ewout Steyerberg, Frans Boomsma, Jan Saase, Jaap Deckers, Henk Hoogsteden, Jan Lindemans, Ton van den Meiracker

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Background N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is an established biomarker for heart failure. Assessment of this biomarker in patients with acute dyspnea presenting to the emergency department (ED) may aid diagnostic decision-making, resulting in improved patient care and reduced costs. Methods In a prospective clinical trial, patients presenting with acute dyspnea to the ED of the Erasmus Medical College, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, were randomized for either rapid measurement or no measurement of NT-proBNP. For ruling out heart failure, cutoff values of 93 pg/mL in male and 144 pg/mL in female patients were used, and for ruling in heart failure, a cutoff value of 1,017 pg/mL was used. Time to discharge from the hospital and costs related to hospital admission were primary end points. Bootstrap analysis was used for comparison of costs and 30-day mortality between the NT-proBNP and control group. Results A total of 477 patients (54% male) was enrolled. The mean age was 59 years, with 44% of patients having a history of cardiac disease. Median time to discharge from the hospital was 1.9 days (interquartile range [IQR], 0.12-8.4 days) in the NT-proBNP group (n = 241) compared with 3.9 days (IQR, 0.16-11.0 days) in the control group (n = 236) (P = .04). Introduction of NT-proBNP testing resulted in a trend toward reduction in costs related to hospital admission and diagnostic investigations of $1,364 per patient (95% CI $-246 to $3,215), whereas 30-day mortality was similar (15 patients in the NT-proBNP and 18 patients in the control group). Conclusions Introduction of NT-proBNP testing for heart failure in the ED setting reduces the time to discharge and is associated with a trend toward cost reduction.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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