Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biomarkers As A Guide To Therapy In Heart Failure Patients

Date:
February 2, 2009
Source:
European Society of Cardiology
Summary:
A randomized trial suggests that, while using BNP as a marker to guide therapy is not associated with any improvement in all-cause outcome over conventional symptom-guided therapy, there is indeed a benefit in hospital-free survival in heart failure patients under the age of 75.

There has been much interest in the biomarker known as N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) as a precise guide for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of heart failure. Earlier studies showed that this peptide released by the heart muscle in response to stress lowers blood pressure and has diuretic properties, with levels increased in patients with heart failure. Hence the interest in this peptide as a marker for the exclusion or presence and severity of heart failure.

Now, a randomised trial suggests that, while using BNP as a marker to guide therapy is not associated with any improvement in all-cause outcome over conventional symptom-guided therapy, there is indeed a benefit in hospital-free survival in heart failure patients under the age of 75.

The study (Trial of Intensified vs. Standard Medical Therapy in Elderly Patients With Congestive Heart Failure [TIME-CHF]) was performed in 499 patients age 60 years or older hospitalised for heart failure within the past year and with N-terminal BNP levels at least twice the upper limit of normal. The subjects were randomised to receive treatment to reduce symptoms (symptom-guided therapy) or intensive treatment to reach a BNP level of no more than twice the upper limit of normal and reduce symptoms (BNP–guided therapy). The study population was then prospectively stratified into two age groups, under and over 75 years.

After a follow-up of 18 months, the BNP-guided strategy and symptom-guided strategies had similar outcomes with respect to all-cause hospitalisation (41% vs 40%) and survival. However, survival without hospitalisation for heart failure was significantly improved with BNP–guided therapy (72% vs. 62%). This benefit was not apparent in patients over the age of 75.

Thus, the study authors suggest that "persistence in intensifying medical therapy seems to be the key for an optimal clinical outcome in patients aged 60 to 74 years, whereas it may not be beneficial to push doses to the limits in patients aged 75 years or older".

Commenting on the study on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology, Professor Kenneth Dickstein from Stavanger University Hospital in Norway emphasises the study's difference in outcome between the under and over-75s. "The older people in this study did not do as well as the younger and did not respond as well to therapy," he says. "So we still need trials properly powered to show the effect of BNP measurement as a marker in elderly patients who more closely reflect our everyday heart failure populations today. So, while we saw a benefit of intensive therapy guided by BNP levels in younger patients in this study, we didn't see it in the over-75s, who generally had more advanced disease, co-morbidity and higher BNP levels."

The study also showed that continual monitoring of BNP levels (performed at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 18 months in the BNP group) as a guide to treatment was not associated with any improvement in outcome: "A baseline measurement of BNP may be enough to initiate effective therapy," says Professor Dickstein. "Serial measurements do not appear to have added value."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Cardiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pfisterer M, Buser P, Rickli H, et al. BNP-Guided vs Symptom-Guided Heart Failure Therapy. JAMA, 2009; 301: 383-392 [link]

Cite This Page:

European Society of Cardiology. "Biomarkers As A Guide To Therapy In Heart Failure Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127170706.htm>.
European Society of Cardiology. (2009, February 2). Biomarkers As A Guide To Therapy In Heart Failure Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127170706.htm
European Society of Cardiology. "Biomarkers As A Guide To Therapy In Heart Failure Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127170706.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins