Catheter ablation is an established therapy for atrial fibrillation but is limited by recurrence; efforts have been made to identify biomarkers that predict recurrence. We investigated the effect of baseline NT-proBNP on AF recurrence following catheter ablation in patients randomized to aggressive (< 120/80 mmHg) or standard blood pressure management (< 140/90 mmHg) in the Substrate Modification with Aggressive Blood Pressure Control trial (SMAC-AF).
The SMAC-AF study included 173 patients resistant or intolerant to at least one class I or III antiarrhythmic drug. We studied the effect of baseline NT-proBNP on the primary outcome of AF recurrence > 3 months post-ablation.
Of the 173 patients, 88 were randomized to the aggressive cohort, and 85 into the standard group. The primary outcome occurred in 61.4% of those in the aggressive arm, versus 61.2% in the standard arm. In the aggressive group, logNT-proBNP predicted recurrence (HR 1.28,
p= 0.04, adjusted HR 1.43, p= 0.03), while in the standard cohort, it did not (HR 0.94, p= 0.62, adjusted HR 0.83, p= 0.22). NT-proBNP ≥ 280 pg/mL also predicted occurrence in the aggressive (HR 1.98, p= 0.02) but not the standard cohort (HR 1.00, p= 1.00). Conclusion
We conclude that pre-ablation NT-proBNP may be useful in predicting recurrence in hypertensive patients and identifying patients who benefit from aggressive blood control and upstream therapies.
Trial registration: NCT00438113, registered February 21, 2007.