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eISSN: 1643-3750

Heart rhythm turbulence and NT-proBNP in decompensated liver cirrhosis – a pilot study

Adam Rafal Poliwczak, Jolanta Bialkowska, Marlena Broncel, Marzena Kozirog, Katarzyna Dworniak, Kornelia Kotecka, Maciej Jablkowski

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(6): PR5-11

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881788

Available online: 2011-06-01

Published: 2011-06-01

Background:    Heart rhythm turbulence (HRT) is a novel tool for evaluation of cardiovascular mortality. Liver cirrhosis is associated with hemodynamic and myocardial disturbances termed cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. In the stable stage of liver cirrhosis, systolic and myocardial dysfunction is correlated with brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).
        The aim was to evaluate HRT and its correlation with NT-proBNP, echocardiographic and biochemical parameters in patients with decompensation of liver cirrhosis.
    Material/Methods:    The study included 18 patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis and 18 healthy volunteers. Participants underwent echocardiography and 24-hour ECG monitoring. Serum NT-proBNP and other biochemical parameters were measured. Turbulence onset (TO) and turbulence slope (TS) were used to indicate HRT.
    Results:    Mean HR (87/min vs. 75/min), TO (–0.385% vs. –0.92%), NT-proBNP (304.85 pg/ml vs. 83.2 pg/ml), LAd (42.5 mm vs. 34.5 mm), RVdd (29.5 mm vs. 25 mm), SPAP (36.5 mmHg vs. 22.5 mmHg) were significantly (p<0.05) higher in patients with liver cirrhosis. Patients with normal TO and TS had better stage in Child-Pugh classification (P=0.04) than patients with abnormal values. Significant negative correlation was found between creatinine and TO, and between mean HR and TS, and significant positive correlation was found between LAd and TS. LV diastolic dysfunction was noted in a majority of cirrhotic patients (n=16).
    Conclusions:    Patients with decompensated cirrhosis had elevated levels of NT-proBNP and LV diastolic dysfunction. TO values in cirrhotic patients differed significantly from the control group. These findings can indicate risk of symptomatic heart failure development and may be a marker of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. HRT parameters seem not to be appropriate death predicators.

Keywords: Natriuretic Peptide, Brain - blood, Liver Cirrhosis - physiopathology, Heart Rate - physiology, Heart Failure - physiopathology, Case-Control Studies, Adult, Peptide Fragments - blood, Pilot Projects, Survival Analysis