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      Evaluation of Brain Natriuretic Peptide in the Diagnosis of Heart Failure


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          A diagnosis of heart failure (HF) can be difficult, especially in patients with mild symptomatology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the significance of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in the diagnosis of HF with systolic or isolated diastolic ventricular dysfunction. One hundred patients and 9 controls were included in the study. Eighty-five patients were diagnosed with HF, based on clinical and echocardiographic findings. BNP levels were accurate for the diagnosis of HF, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) of 0.92. In addition, BNP levels showed an excellent accuracy for the diagnosis of isolated diastolic HF (AUC = 0.89). These data suggest that the measurement of BNP levels may be helpful in the diagnosis of HF and in selecting patients for further evaluation. Furthermore, BNP measurement can play an important role in the diagnosis of isolated diastolic HF.

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          Echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular hypertrophy: comparison to necropsy findings.

          To determine the accuracy of echocardiographic left ventricular (LV) dimension and mass measurements for detection and quantification of LV hypertrophy, results of blindly read antemortem echocardiograms were compared with LV mass measurements made at necropsy in 55 patients. LV mass was calculated using M-mode LV measurements by Penn and American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) conventions and cube function and volume correction formulas in 52 patients. Penn-cube LV mass correlated closely with necropsy LV mass (r = 0.92, p less than 0.001) and overestimated it by only 6%; sensitivity in 18 patients with LV hypertrophy (necropsy LV mass more than 215 g) was 100% (18 of 18 patients) and specificity was 86% (29 of 34 patients). ASE-cube LV mass correlated similarly to necropsy LV mass (r = 0.90, p less than 0.001), but systematically overestimated it (by a mean of 25%); the overestimation could be corrected by the equation: LV mass = 0.80 (ASE-cube LV mass) + 0.6 g. Use of ASE measurements in the volume correction formula systematically underestimated necropsy LV mass (by a mean of 30%). In a subset of 9 patients, 3 of whom had technically inadequate M-mode echocardiograms, 2-dimensional echocardiographic (echo) LV mass by 2 methods was also significantly related to necropsy LV mass (r = 0.68, p less than 0.05 and r = 0.82, p less than 0.01). Among other indexes of LV anatomy, only measurement of myocardial cross-sectional area was acceptably accurate for quantitation of LV mass (r = 0.80, p less than 0.001) or diagnosis of LV hypertrophy (sensitivity = 72%, specificity = 94%).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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            Regional patterns of disability-free life expectancy and disability-adjusted life expectancy: global Burden of Disease Study.

            Information on non-fatal health outcomes of disease and injury has been largely neglected in health planning because of the conceptual and definitional complexity of measuring morbidity and disability in populations. One of our major objectives was to quantify disability for inclusion in health policy debates. We analysed these health outcomes in terms of disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) and disability-adjusted life expectancy (DALE). Published and unpublished data were systematically reviewed to estimate the incidence, prevalence, and duration of 483 disabling sequelae of 107 diseases and injuries. To ensure internal consistency of these estimates, a software programme (DISMOD) was applied many times until consistent parameters were identified. The severity of disability, on a scale of 0 (perfect health) to 1 (death), was measured in a deliberate manner by the person-trade-off method. Spearman's and Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to measure disability weights among groups. Prevalence of seven classes of disability was back-calculated from the distribution of each disabling sequela across disabilities. Prevalence for each class of disability for different age-sex groups was used to calculate seven forms of DFLE and DALE based on Sullivan's method. Prevalence of most disability classes is highest in sub-Saharan Africa and lowest in established market economies. Low-severity disabilities (class I and class II) are the most common. The expectation at birth of class I disability ranges from 6.5 years in established market economies to 14.7 years in sub-Saharan Africa, and for class II disabilities, from 8.5-18.4 years. DFLE varies significantly among regions: DFLE for class I disabilities at birth ranges from 9.9 years in sub-Saharan Africa to 47.7 years in established market economies for females and DFLE for class V disabilities ranges from 43.4 years for men in sub-Saharan Africa to 74.8 years for women in established market economies. The proportion of expected life span at birth lived with disability adjusted for severity, varies from about 8% in established market economies to 15% in sub-Saharan Africa, with little difference between men and women. In high-income regions, nearly 90% of expected disability is due to non-communicable diseases and most of the remainder to injuries. In poorer regions, almost half of expected disability is due to communicable diseases and injuries. The higher proportion of lifespan spent disabled in high-mortality populations is consistent with the compression of morbidity hypothesis. The threshold definition of disability used substantially affects the results of DFLE, DALE, which incorporates severity weights for disabilities, is a useful summary measure of the burden of disability and mortality.
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              The natriuretic-peptide family.


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                June 2000
                04 July 2000
                : 93
                : 1-2
                : 19-25
                aServiço de Medicina III e bServiço de Cardiologia, Hospital S. João, cFaculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
                6997 Cardiology 2000;93:19–25
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 40, Pages: 7
                General Cardiology

                General medicine,Neurology,Cardiovascular Medicine,Internal medicine,Nephrology
                Heart failure,Diastolic heart failure,Brain natriuretic peptide,Diagnosis


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