Accuracy of Brain Natriuretic Peptide for Diagnosing Pulmonary Hypertension in Severe Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia.
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<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Premature infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (sBPD) are at risk of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Serum brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is used to predict disease severity in adult PH. Its diagnostic utility in sBPD-associated PH is unknown.</p>
<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>The aim of this paper was to determine the accuracy of BNP, against echocardiogram (echo), to diagnose PH in infants born <32 weeks' gestation with sBPD.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all infants with sBPD with an echo and BNP within a 24-h period, at ≥36 weeks postmenstrual age. PH was defined as: right ventricular pressure >½ systemic blood pressure estimated from tricuspid regurgitant jet or patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) velocity, bidirectional or right-to left-PDA, and/or flat/bowing ventricular septum at end-systole. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to test the diagnostic accuracy of BNP.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of 128 infants, 68 (53%) had echo evidence of PH. BNP was higher among the infants with PH (median [interquartile range]: 127 pg/mL [39-290] vs. 35 [20-76], p < 0.001). The area under the ROC curve for diagnosing PH using BNP was 0.74 (95% CI 0.66-0.83). At an optimal cutpoint of 130 pg/mL, BNP correctly classified the presence or absence of PH in 70% of the infants (specificity: 92, sensitivity: 50%).</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>BNP, relative to concurrent echo, demonstrated moderate accuracy for diagnosing PH in this cohort of preterm infants with sBPD. BNP may help rule in PH in this population but has low utility to rule out the disease.</p>