Early NT-proBNP Is Able to Predict Spontaneous Closure of Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Preterm Neonates, But Not the Need of Its Treatment
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The objective of this study was to establish the potential utility of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in the management of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). This was a monocentric prospective blind study that was conducted in a referral neonatal intensive care unit. The patients were very low-birth-weight/gestational-age neonates. Babies with cardiac congenital anomaly other than PDA, life-threatening congenital malformation, severe asphyxia at birth, persistent pulmonary hypertension, and death within the first week of life were excluded. Plasma NT-proBNP concentrations were determined on days 2, 4, and 7 of life. Echocardiography was performed on days 4 and 7. Results were blinded to clinicians. Only echographic results were available upon request. Thirty-one infants were included. NT-proBNP levels were significantly correlated to ductal size and to left atrial-to-aortic diameter ratio. The median NT-proBNP on both days 2 and 4 was significantly higher in neonates with later treated or persistent PDA. A level above 10.000 pg/mL at 48 h of age yielded a 100% positive and a 87% negative predictive value to exclude spontaneous ductal closure. However, no NT-proBNP threshold could predict which PDA would be judged necessary to treat. It was concluded that early low NT-proBNP values can be used as a reliable independent marker to predict spontaneous ductal closure in preterm neonates. Yet, high NT-proBNP levels should not be used to guide the decision to treat PDA, the risk being of treating many bystanding PDAs.
KeywordsNT-proBNP PDA Preterm
We would like to thank Prof. Anne Pardou, former head of our NICU who encouraged our research, Prof. Bart Van Overmeire for his precious help in reviewing the manuscript, and all of the clinicians involved in the care of our babies. Philippe Unger has received a grant from the “Fonds pour la Chirurgie Cardiaque.”
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