Combination of lung ultrasound (a comet-tail sign) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in differentiating acute heart failure from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma as cause of acute dyspnea in prehospital emergency setting.
Crit Care. 2011 Apr 14;15(2):R114
Authors: Prosen G, Klemen P, Strnad M, Grmec S
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: We studied the diagnostic accuracy of bedside lung ultrasound (the presence of a comet tail sign), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and clinical assessment (modified Boston criteria) in differentiating heart failure (HF)- related acute dyspnea from pulmonary (COPD/asthma) related acute dyspnea in the prehospital setting. METHODS: Prospective study was performed at the Center for Emergency Medicine Maribor, Slovenia, between July 2007 and April 2010. Two groups of patients were compared: HF-related acute dyspnea group (n = 129) vs pulmonary-related (asthma/COPD) acute dyspnea group (n = 89). All patients underwent lung ultrasound examination, along with basic laboratory, rapid NT-proBNP testing and chest X-ray. RESULTS: Ultrasound comet tail sign has 100% sensitivity, 95% specificity, 100% negative predictive value (NPV) and 96% positive predictive value (PPV) for the diagnosis of HF. NT-proBNP (cut-off point 1000 pg/ml) has 92% sensitivity, 89% specificity, 86% NPV and 90% PPV. Boston modified criteria have 85% sensitivity, 86% specificity, 80% NPV and 90% PPV. Comparing the three methods, we found significant differences between ultrasound sign vs NT-proBNP (P<0.05) and Boston modified criteria (P<0.05). Combination of ultrasound sign and NT-proBNP has 100% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% NPV and 100% PPV. With ultrasound we can exclude HF in patients with pulmonary related dyspnea who have positive NT-proBNP (> 1000 pg/ml) and previous history of HF. CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound comet tail sign alone or in combination with NT-proBNP has a high diagnostic accuracy in differentiating between acute HF and COPD/asthma causes of acute dyspnea in prehospital emergency setting. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01235182.
PMID: 21492424 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]