Heart failure and restrictive respiratory insufficiency are complications in muscular dystrophies. Here, researchers from the Reference centre for neuromuscular disorders of Garches aimed to assess the accuracy of the B-natriuretic peptide (BNP) for the diagnosis of decompensated heart failure in muscular dystrophy.
They included patients with muscular dystrophy and chronic respiratory insufficiency admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of the Raymond Poincare hospital (Garches, France) for suspected decompensated heart failure. Thirtyseven patients were included, among them, 23 Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) (62%), 10 myotonic dystrophy type 1(DM1) (27%). Median age was 35 years [27.5; 48.5]. 86.5% of patients were on home mechanical ventilation (HMV). Median left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 47% [35.0; 59.5]. Median BNP blood level was 104 pg/mL [50; 399]. The BNP level was significantly inversely associated with LVEF (r= -0.37, p 0.03) and positively associated with the LVEDD (left ventricular end diastolic diameter) (r=0.59, P<0.001). The discriminative value of the BNP level for the diagnosis of decompensated heart failure was high with an AUROC=0.94 (P<0.001). The best discriminating BNP threshold was 307 pg/mL (Youden index 0.85).
The BNP level measurement may add a supplemental key for the final diagnosis of decompensated heart failure.