Background: Multiple biomarkers have been investigated in the risk stratification of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This systematic review and meta-analysis is the first to investigate the prognostic value of (NT-pro)BNP in patients with PAH. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed using MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library and Google scholar to identify studies on the prognostic value of baseline (NT-pro)BNP levels in PAH. Studies reporting hazard ratios (HR) for the endpoints mortality or lung transplant were included. A random effects meta-analysis was performed to calculate the pooled HR of (NT-pro)BNP levels at the time of diagnosis. To account for different transformations applied to (NT-pro)BNP, the HR was calculated for a 2-fold difference of the weighted mean (NT-pro)BNP level of 247 pmol/L, for studies reporting a HR based on a continuous (NT-pro)BNP measurement. Results: Sixteen studies were included, representing 6999 patients (mean age 45.2-65.0 years, 97.3% PAH). Overall, 1460 patients reached the endpoint during a mean follow-up period between 1 and 10 years. Nine studies reported HRs based on cut-off values. The risk of mortality or lung transplant was increased for both elevated NT-proBNP and BNP with a pooled HR based on unadjusted HRs of 2.75 (95%-CI: 1.86-4.07) and 3.87 (95% CI 2.69-5.57) respectively. Six studies reported HRs for (NT-pro)BNP on a continues scale. A 2-fold difference of the weighted mean NT-proBNP resulted in an increased risk of mortality or lung transplant with a pooled HR of 1.17 (95%-CI: 1.03-1.32). Conclusions: Increased levels of (NT-pro)BNP are associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality or lung transplant in PAH patients.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research project was supported by an unrestricting research grant by Johnson & Johnson - Actelion pharmaceuticals.
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