Fluid retention is characteristic of veno-occlusive disease (VOD). We hypothesized that plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), a neurohormone secreted in response to volume expansion, may be associated with VOD after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). BNP was measured before and weekly after HSCT in 46 recipients. Sixteen patients developed VOD. BNP concentrations were similar before and on day 0 in patients with and without VOD, but were significantly higher on day 7 and later in those with VOD. Patients with VOD had significantly higher peak BNP concentrations before engraftment than those without VOD (median, 634.4 versus 80.9 pg ml -1; P=0.01). Multivariate analysis showed that VOD was independently associated with BNP elevation (odds ratio, 50.1; 95% CI: 5.2-478.4; P<0.01). Landmark analysis at day 7 showed that patients with peak BNP concentration of ≥180 pg ml-1 had significantly worse 100-day survival than patients with peak BNP <180 pg ml-1 (54 versus 91%; P<0.01). In multivariate analysis, BNP elevation before day 7 significantly predicted 100-day survival (hazard ratio 5.3; 95% CI: 1.1-24.3; P=0.03). These findings suggest that plasma BNP may serve as a diagnostic and prognostic marker of VOD.
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