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Preoperative levels of heart proteins may help predict death or cardiac complications in patients undergoing surgery

Assessing preoperative levels of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a biomarker of heart stress and structural changes, may improve risk prediction beyond the clinical risk score in patients having noncardiac surgery. Findings from a cohort study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Globally, more than 200 million adults have major noncardiac surgery annually and more than 10 percent have major cardiac complications within the first 30 days, resulting in death, disability, prolonged hospitalization, or increased health care expenditure. Several guidelines recommend using the Revised Cardiac Risk Index (RCRI) to predict perioperative cardiac risk. Although the RCRI is easy to use, its accuracy in predicting major perioperative cardiovascular complications is limited. Preliminary evidence suggests that NT-proBNP measurement may improve perioperative cardiovascular risk prediction.

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