BackgroundSudden cardiac death (SCD) is the most common etiology of death in hemodialysis patients but not much is known about its risk factors. The goal of our study was to determine the association and risk prediction of SCD by serum N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP) troponin I (cTnI) in hemodialysis patients.
MethodsWe measured NTproBNP and cTnI in 503 hemodialysis patients of a national prospective cohort study. We determined their association with SCD using Cox regression, adjusting for demographics, co-morbidities, and clinical factors and risk prediction using C-statistic and Net Reclassification Improvement (NRI).
ResultsPatients' mean age was 58 years and 54 % were male. During follow-up (median 3.5 years), there were 75 outpatient SCD events. In unadjusted and fully-adjusted models, NTproBNP had a significant association with the risk of SCD. Analyzed as a continuous variable, the risk of SCD increased 27 % with each 2-fold increase in NTproBNP (HR, 1.27 per doubling; 95 % CI, 1.13-1.43; p < 0.001). In categorical models, the risk of SCD was 3-fold higher in the highest tertile of NTproBNP (>7,350 pg/mL) compared with the lowest tertile (<1,710 pg/mL; HR for the highest tertile, 3.03; 95 % CI, 1.56-5.89; p = 0.001). Higher cTnI showed a trend towards increased risk of SCD in fully adjusted models, but was not statistically significant (HR, 1.17 per doubling; 95 % CI, 0.98-1.40; p = 0.08). Sensitivity analyses using competing risk models showed similar results. Improvement in risk prediction by adding cardiac biomarkers to conventional risk factors was greater with NTproBNP (C-statistic for 3-year risk: 0.810; 95 % CI, 0.757 to 0.864; and continuous NRI: 0.270; 95 % CI, 0.046 to 0.495) than with cTnI.
ConclusionsNTproBNP is associated with the risk of SCD in hemodialysis patients. Further research is needed to determine if biomarkers measurement can guide SCD risk prevention strategies in dialysis patients.