Biochemical diagnosis of ventricular dysfunction in elderly patients in general practice: observational study

Smith, H, Pickering, R M, Struthers, A, Simpson, I and Mant, D (2000) Biochemical diagnosis of ventricular dysfunction in elderly patients in general practice: observational study. British Medical Journal, 320 (7329). pp. 906-908. ISSN 0959-8138

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the usefulness of measuring plasma concentrations of B type natriuretic peptide in the diagnosis of left ventricular systolic dysfunction in an unselected group of elderly people.

Design: Observational study.

Setting: General practice with four centres in Poole, Dorset.

Participants: 155 elderly patients aged 70 to 84 years.

Main outcome measures: Diagnostic characteristics of plasma B type natriuretic peptide measured by radioimmunoassay as a test for left ventricular systolic dysfunction assessed by echocardiography.

Results: The median plasma concentration of B type natriuretic peptide was 39.3 pmol/l in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction and 15.8 pmol/l in those with normal function. The proportional area under the receiver operator curve was 0.85. At a cut-off point of 18.7 pmol/l the test sensitivity was 92% and the predictive value 18%.

Conclusions: Plasma concentration of B type natriuretic peptide could be used effectively as an initial test in a community screening programme and, possibly, using a low cut-off point, as a means of ruling out left ventricular systolic dysfunction. It is, however, not a good test to “rule in” the diagnosis, and access to echocardiography remains essential for general practitioners to diagnose heart failure early.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Depositing User: Jane Harle
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 12:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1946
Google Scholar:112 Citations

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