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Brain Natriuretic Peptide and NT-proBNP Levels Reflect Pulmonary Artery Systolic Pressure in Trekkers at High Altitude

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Woods


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Our objective was to evaluate the utility of the natriuretic peptides BNP (brain natriuretic peptide) and NT-proBNP as markers of pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) in trekkers ascending to high altitude (HA). 20 participants had BNP and NT-proBNP assayed and simultaneous echocardiographic assessment of PASP performed during a trek to 5150 m. PASP increased significantly (p=0.006) with ascent from 24 +/- 4 to 39 +/- 11 mm Hg at 5150 m. At 5150 m those with a PASP >= 40 mm Hg (n=8) (versus those with PASP<40 mm Hg) had higher post-exercise BNP (pg/ml): 54.5 +/- 36 vs. 13.4 +/- 17 (p=0.012). Their resting BNP at 5150 m was also higher: 57.3 +/- 43.4 vs. 12.6 +/- 13 (p=0.017). In those with a pathological (>= 400 pg/ml) rise in NT-proBNP at 5150 m (n=4) PASP was significantly higher: 45.9 +/- 7.5 vs. 32.2 +/- 6.2 mm Hg (p=0.015). BNP and NT-proBNP may reflect elevated PASP, a central feature of high altitude pulmonary oedema, at HA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Woods DR, Mellor A, Begley J, Stacey M, O'Hara J, Hawkins A, Yarker J, Foxen S, Smith C, Boos C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physiological Research

Year: 2013

Volume: 62

Issue: 6

Pages: 597-603

Print publication date: 17/07/2013

ISSN (print): 0862-8408

ISSN (electronic): 1802-9973

Publisher: Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences