The Change in B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels Over Time Predicts Significant Rejection in Cardiac Transplant Recipients

Michelle M. Kittleson, Diane V. Skojec, Ilan S. Wittstein, Hunter C. Champion, Daniel P. Judge, Lili A. Barouch, Marc Halushka, Joshua M. Hare, Edward K. Kasper, Stuart D. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) correlates with cardiac filling pressures and outcomes in patients with heart failure. In heart transplant recipients, we hypothesize that a within-individual change in BNP over time would be more helpful than absolute BNP in detecting International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) grade 2R or greater rejection. Methods: N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP) levels were measured in 146 consecutive transplant recipients undergoing routine endomyocardial biopsies. In the cross-sectional analysis, multiple observations per individual were accounted for using generalized estimation equations. Results: A cross-sectional analysis demonstrated a weak association between NT-proBNP levels and rejection, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.01 for every 100-pg/mL increase in NT-proBNP (p = 0.02). However, with a doubling of an individual's NT-proBNP level, the OR for significant rejection was 2.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-7.0), the OR with a 5-fold increase was 9.1 (95% CI, 2.7-31.5), and the OR with a 10-fold increase was 27.7 (95% CI, 5.9-129). A 10-fold increase in NT-proBNP offered a negative predictive value of 95% for the diagnosis of rejection. The relationship between within-individual increases in NT-proBNP and rejection persisted after adjusting for a fall in ejection fraction and a rise pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, and was a stronger predictor than changes in these parameters. Conclusions: There is a strong, graded relationship between the within-individual increase in NT-proBNP and the odds of significant rejection independent of hemodynamic parameters. These results suggest that the change in NT-proBNP rather than absolute BNP levels may offer a non-invasive approach to detect rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-709
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'The Change in B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels Over Time Predicts Significant Rejection in Cardiac Transplant Recipients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this