Background Short-term changes of neurohormones can give important prognostic information in heart failure (HF) patients. In this study, we evaluate whether changes in plasma Norepinephrine (NE) and serum N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) after exercise training predict cardiac mortality in HF patients. Methods and results We enrolled 221 HF patients (mean age 72.5 Â± 10.2 year) followed-up for a mean period of 27.64 Â± 10.7 months. All pts underwent a 3-month exercise training. Before training, clinical examination, echocardiography, peak VO2 determination, and blood draw for NT-proBNP and NE measurements were performed. Primary end-point was cardiac related mortality. Eighty-six-nine percent of patients were in NYHA class III, mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 32.5 Â± 10.4%, and mean peak VO2 was 12.36 Â± 1.45 ml/kg/min. At baseline, mean NT-proBNP was 2111.4 Â± 1145.6 pg/ml and mean NE was 641.8 Â± 215.3 pg/ml. One hundred-one subjects died for cardiac causes. Training was associated with a significant increase of peak VO2 and LVEF, whereas NE, NT-proBNP, and heart rate decreased. Multiple Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed using delta% values (post vs pre-training) of LVEF, heart rate, NE, and NT-proBNP along with baseline covariates, revealing delta value of NE as the strongest predictor of cardiac mortality. Noteworthy, training reduced NT-proBNP in both survivor and non-survivor patients, while a lack of reduction of NE was observed in non survivors. Conclusions In our HF population, short-term changes of NE after exercise training independently predicted long-term cardiac mortality. Â© 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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