Author(s): Dulac Y, Zabalawi A, Taktak A, Plat G, Bassil R,
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Abstract The increase in B-natiuretic peptide (BNP) is well correlated with cardiovascular symptoms in adults. Its use in children is recent and only partially evaluated. The authors undertook a prospective study of BNP concentrations and its kinetics in 54 children with an average age of 15 months (5 days to 11 years) admitted as paediatric emergencies. The symptoms were dyspnoea (60\%), shock (15\%), suspicion of Kawasaki disease (15\%) and other (10\%). Twenty children had BNP levels of more than 100 pg/ml related to decompensation of known congenital heart disease in 7 patients (average BNP 462 +/- 323 pg/ml), due to neonatal coarctation in 2 patients (BNP > 3000 pg/ml), due to cardiomyopathy in 6 patients (BNP= 2576 +/- 1215 pg/ml), due to an arrhythmia in 1 patient (BNP= 3754 pg/ml) and to Kawasaki disease in 4 patients (BNP= 521 +/- 448 pg/ml). Thirty-four children had BNP values of less than 100 pg/ml; 29 had no cardiac disease and 5 had known congenital heart disease with other symptoms. Measuring BNP is quick and economical and is a valuable aid in the diagnosis of cardiac dysfunction in symptomatic children in the emergency room. High BNP values seem to be correlated with the severity of the cardiac disease. Low BNP values seem to have a good negative predictive value in children without underlying cardiac disease. The interpretation of intermediary values, especially when there is previous cardiac disease, is more difficult in view of the absence of known threshold values for different haemodynamic situations. Further studies are required to determine the value of this test for the follow-up and setting up of prognostic values in children with congenital heart disease.
This article was published in Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology