HEMATOLOGY / CLINICAL RESEARCH
 
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ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Precapillary pulmonary hypertension (PH) implies a worse prognosis in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is elevated in cardiopulmonary involvement. In MPN patients with precapillary PH, elevated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) values, but in left heart (LH) disease patients, decreased values were reported. Our aim was to determine whether a combination of NT-proBNP and VEGF is suitable for the detection of the precapillary forms of PH in MPN patients.

Material and methods:
Eighty-one MPN patients were investigated. Pulmonary hypertension was defined as Doppler-derived systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) ≥ 40 mm Hg. Patient groups with cardiopulmonary involvement (precapillary PH, PH due to LH disease, left ventricular ejection fraction < 50%, atrial fibrillation) or LH disease (PH due to LH disease, left ventricular ejection fraction < 50%, atrial fibrillation) were identified.

Results:
In 9 patients PH was associated with LH disease. In 2 patients precapillary PH was found with extremely high NT-proBNP values. NT-proBNP significantly correlated with sPAP (r = 0.550; p < 0.001). NT-proBNP ≥ 466 pg/ml was the best predictor of cardiopulmonary involvement (AUC: 0.962, sensitivity: 86.7%, specificity: 93.9%). No correlation was found between VEGF levels and sPAP values. VEGF ≤ 431 pg/ml was the best predictor of LH disease (AUC: 0.609, sensitivity: 76.9%, specificity: 62.7%).

Conclusions:
NT-proBNP levels reflect cardiopulmonary involvement with high accuracy, but the combination of NT-proBNP and VEGF is not suitable for the detection of precapillary PH as the diagnostic power of VEGF is limited. Highly elevated NT-proBNP levels may suggest precapillary PH but further investigation is necessary for the exclusion of LH disease or atrial fibrillation.

eISSN:1896-9151
ISSN:1734-1922