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Concept: Brain natriuretic peptide


Waon therapy improves heart failure (HF) symptoms, but further evidence in patients with advanced HF remains uncertain.Methods and Results:In 19 institutes, we prospectively enrolled hospitalized patients with advanced HF, who had plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) >500 pg/ml on admission and BNP >300 pg/ml regardless of more than 1 week of medical therapy. Enrolled patients were randomized into Waon therapy or control groups. Waon therapy was performed once daily for 10 days with a far infrared-ray dry sauna maintained at 60℃ for 15 min, followed by bed rest for 30 min covered with a blanket. The primary endpoint was the ratio of BNP before and after treatment. In total, 76 Waon therapy and 73 control patients (mean age 66 years, men 61%, mean plasma BNP 777 pg/ml) were studied. The groups differed only in body mass index and the frequency of diabetes. The plasma BNP, NYHA classification, 6-min walk distance (6MWD), and cardiothoracic ratio significantly improved only in the Waon therapy group. Improvements in NYHA classification, 6MWD, and cardiothoracic ratio were significant in the Waon therapy group, although the change in plasma BNP did not reach statistical significance. No serious adverse events were observed in either group.

Concepts: Better, Statistics, Improve, Cardiology, Obesity, Body mass index, Ratio, Brain natriuretic peptide


Fasting reduces glucose levels and protects mice against chemotoxicity, yet drugs that promote hyperglycemia are widely used in cancer treatment. Here, we show that dexamethasone (Dexa) and rapamycin (Rapa), commonly administered to cancer patients, elevate glucose and sensitize cardiomyocytes and mice to the cancer drug doxorubicin (DXR). Such toxicity can be reversed by reducing circulating glucose levels by fasting or insulin. Furthermore, glucose injections alone reversed the fasting-dependent protection against DXR in mice, indicating that elevated glucose mediates, at least in part, the sensitizing effects of rapamycin and dexamethasone. In yeast, glucose activates protein kinase A (PKA) to accelerate aging by inhibiting transcription factors Msn2/4. Here, we show that fasting or glucose restriction (GR) regulate PKA and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to protect against DXR in part by activating the mammalian Msn2/4 ortholog early growth response protein 1 (EGR1). Increased expression of the EGR1-regulated cardioprotective peptides atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in heart tissue may also contribute to DXR resistance. Our findings suggest the existence of a glucose-PKA pathway that inactivates conserved zinc finger stress-resistance transcription factors to sensitize cells to toxins conserved from yeast to mammals. Our findings also describe a toxic role for drugs widely used in cancer treatment that promote hyperglycemia and identify dietary interventions that reverse these effects.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Signal transduction, Nutrition, Adenosine triphosphate, Enzyme, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide


Cardiovascular hypertrophy is a common feature of hypertension and an important risk factor for heart damage. The regression of cardiovascular hypertrophy is currently considered an important therapeutic target in reducing the omplications of hypertension. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibition of cardiac hypertrophy by probiotic-fermented purple sweet potato yogurt (PSPY) with high γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) hearts. Six-week-old male SHRs were separated randomly and equally into 4 experimental groups: sterile water, captopril and 2 PSPY groups with different doses (10 and 100%) for 8 weeks. The changes in myocardial architecture and key molecules of the hypertrophy-related pathway in the excised left ventricle from these rats were determined by histopathological analysis, hematoxylin and eosin staining and western blot analysis. Abnormal myocardial architecture and enlarged interstitial spaces observed in the SHRs were significantly decreased in the captopril and PSPY groups compared with the sterile water group. Moreover, the increases in atrial natriuretic peptide, B-type natriuretic peptide, phosphorilated protein kinase Cα and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II levels in the left ventricle were accompanied by hypertension and increases in phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 activities with enhanced cardiac hypertrophy. However, the protein levels of the hypertrophic-related pathways were completely reversed by the administration of PSPY. PSPY may repress the activation of ANP and BNP which subsequently inhibit the dephosphorylation of the nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic 3 and ultimately prevent the progression of cardiac hypertrophy.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Blood, Heart, Circulatory system, Ventricle, Atrium, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide


BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is highly prevalent in patients with ischemic stroke, but the diagnosis is often difficult. METHODS: This study consisted of 68 stroke patients in sinus rhythm without history of AF. All patients underwent P-wave signal-averaged electrocardiography (P-SAECG), echocardiography, 24-h Holter monitoring, and measurement of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) concentrations at admission. RESULTS: An abnormal P-SAECG was found in 34 of 68 stroke patients. In the follow-up period of 11±4 months, AF developed in 17 patients (AF group). The remaining 51 patients were classified as the non-AF group. The prevalence of atrial late potentials (ALP) on P-SAECG, and the number of premature atrial contractions (PACs) were significantly higher in the AF group than those in the non-AF group (88.2% vs 37.3%; p<0.001, 149±120 vs 79±69; p=0.030, respectively). However, there were no significant differences in age, left atrial dimension, or BNP concentrations between both groups. Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed that the presence of ALP (risk ratio 11.15; p=0.002) and frequent PACs (more than 100/24h) (risk ratio 4.53; p=0.007) had significant correlation to the occurrence of AF. CONCLUSIONS: ALP may be a novel predictor of AF in stroke patients. P-SAECG should be considered in stroke of undetermined etiology.

Concepts: Medical statistics, Cardiology, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Transient ischemic attack, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Holter monitor


AIMS: N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is an important biomarker in congestive heart failure. This has also been confirmed in congenital heart disease. However, its clinical value in patients with different types of Fontan circulation remains questionable. METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively analysed 124 patients with various types of Fontan surgery between October 2006 and February 2011. We included 49 patients with older Fontan modification [atriopulmonary connection (APC) and atrioventricular connection (AVC)] and 75 patients with total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC). The NT-proBNP levels of patients with APC/AVC were significantly higher than in patients with TCPC (P < 0.001), even after accounting for sex, age, ventricular function, atrioventricular regurgitation, ventricular morphology, and arrhythmia (P = 0.035). Levels of NT-proBNP positively correlated with atrioventricular valve regurgitation (r = 0.29, P = 0.013) and ventricular dysfunction (r = 0.23, P = 0.052) only in patients with TCPC, but not in patients with APC or AVC (r = 0.01, P = 0.509 and r = 0.10, P = 0.493, respectively). CONCLUSION: Levels of NT-pro BNP are related to the type of Fontan circulation. The older types (APC/AVC) that involve more atrial tissue in the systemic venous pathway show higher NT-proBNP levels independently of their cardiac status. Their NT-proBNP levels should be interpreted with care.

Concepts: Blood, Cardiology, Heart failure, Heart, Atrium, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Fontan procedure


AIM: This study was designed to evaluate the diagnostic value of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in syncope in children and adolescents. METHODS: Serum BNP concentration was measured by electrochemiluminescence assay in 62 consecutive children and adolescents hospitalized for syncope. RESULTS: Of the 62 children and adolescents hospitalized for syncope, 39 had non-cardiac syncope, 37 (59.7%) of whom had autonomic-mediated reflex syncope, and two (3.2%) had syncope of unknown cause. Twenty-three patients (37.1%) had cardiac syncope; 11 of these had cardiac arrhythmias and 12 had structural cardiac/cardiopulmonary disease. Patients with cardiac syncope had significantly higher serum BNP than those with non-cardiac syncope (958.78 ± 2443.41 pg/ml vs. 31.05 ± 22.64 pg/ml, p < 0.05). Logistic multivariate regression analysis revealed that urinary incontinence during syncopal episodes, ECG abnormalities and increased serum BNP levels were independent predictors for cardiac syncope. At a cut-off value of 40.65 pg/ml, serum BNP was associated with significant risk for a cardiac cause of syncope, with sensitivity 73.9% and specificity 70.0% for distinguishing cardiac syncope from non-cardiac syncope. CONCLUSION: Serum BNP was helpful in differentiating cardiac syncope from non-cardiac syncope in children and adolescents ©2013 The Author(s)/Acta Paediatrica ©2013 Foundation Acta Paediatrica.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Cardiology, Urinary incontinence, Cardiac arrest, Multivariate statistics, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Cardiac dysrhythmia


N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) has been demonstrated to be a sensitive and specific biomarker for heart failure (HF). Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) technology can be used to accurately detect NT-proBNP at an early stage for its advantages of high sensitivity, less wastage and time consumption. In this work, we have demonstrated a new SERS-based immunosensor for ultrasensitive analysis of NT-proBNP by using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)@Au Tetrapods (AuTPs) immobilized toluidine blue as SERS tag. Here, MOFs@AuTPs complexes were utilized to immobilize antibody and Raman probe for their excellent characteristics of high porosity, large surface area and good biocompatibility which can obviously enhance the fixing amount of biomolecule. In order to simplify the experimental operation and improve the uniformity of the substrate, Au nanoparticles functionalized CoFe2O4 magnetic nanospheres (CoFe2O4@AuNPs) were further prepared to assemble primary antibody. Through sandwiched antibody-antigen interactions, the immunosensor can produce a strong SERS signal to detect NT-proBNP fast and effectively. With such design, the proposed immunosensor can achieve a large dynamic range of 6 orders of magnitude from 1 fg mL-1 to 1 ng mL-1 with a detection limit of 0.75 fg mL-1. And this newly designed amplification strategy holds high probability for ultrasensitive immunoassay of NT-proBNP.

Concepts: Protein, Spectroscopy, Magnetic field, Nanoparticle, Raman spectroscopy, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Surface area


Several studies suggest that the N-terminal fragment of pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels are quite different in wild-type transthyretin (TTR)-related amyloidosis (ATTRwt) and mutated TTR-related amyloidosis (ATTRm) compared with immunoglobulin light-chain cardiac amyloidosis. Our aim was to test this hypothesis in a cohort of patients with different types of cardiac amyloidosis.

Concepts: Protein, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide


To examine the efficacy of early continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), delivered using a T-piece based infant resuscitator (Neopuff) via a face mask, in reducing the severity and duration of transient tachypnea of newborn (TTN) as well as testing a hypothesis suggesting that rapid clearance of fetal lung fluid to the circulation via CPAP would increase plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP).

Concepts: Pregnancy, Infant, Fetus, Randomized controlled trial, Infant mortality, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Newborn


Atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation requires transseptal puncture to access the left atrium. Recently, a radiofrequency (RF) needle was developed. The purpose of this study was to compare the incidence of MRI-confirmed acute cerebral embolism (ACE) during AF ablation procedures performed with RF needle versus mechanical needle transseptal puncture. This study consisted of 383 consecutive patients who underwent catheter ablation for AF that required transseptal puncture with mechanical or radiofrequency transseptal needles. Of those, 232 propensity score-matched patients (116 with each needle type) were included in the analysis. All patients had cerebral MRI performed 1 or 2 days after the procedure. Baseline characteristics were similar between the two groups. Total procedure time was significantly shorter in Group RF than Group non-RF (167 ± 50 vs. 181 ± 52 min, P = 0.01). ACE was detected by MRI in 59 (25%) patients. All patients with ACE were asymptomatic. Incidence of ACE was lower in Group RF than Group non-RF (19 vs. 32%, P = 0.02). B-type natriuretic peptide level was higher in the patients with ACE as compared to those without ACE (65.2 ± 68.7 vs. 44.7 ± 55.1 pg/ml, P = 0.02). In multivariable analysis, the use of RF needle and BNP level was related to the incidence of ACE (OR = 0.499, 95% CI 0.270-0.922, P = 0.03 and OR = 1.005, 95% CI 1.000-1.010, P = 0.03). Use of RF needle for transseptal puncture was associated with lower total procedure time and risk of ACE during catheter ablation of AF.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Thrombus, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Embolism