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Sodium retention and volume overload are the main determinants of poor response to reninangiotensin- aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibition in patients with diabetes. As volume excess can exist without symptoms, biomarkers are needed to identify a priori which patients are volume overloaded and may experience less benefit from RAAS inhibition. N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is released in the setting of increased cardiac wall stress and volume overload. We conducted a post hoc analysis among 5081 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus participating in the ALTITUDE trial to investigate whether NTproBNP can predict the effects of additional therapy with aliskiren on cardio-renal endpoints. Aliskiren compared to placebo reduced the risk of the primary cardio-renal endpoint events by 20% (95% confidence interval [CI] 16 to 61) and 2% (95% CI –42 to 30) in the two lowest NT-proBNP tertiles, and it increased the risk by 25% (95% CI –4 to 96) in the highest NT-proBNP tertile (P value for trend = 0.009). Similar trends were observed for the cardiovascular and end-stage renal disease endpoints. Effects of aliskiren compared to placebo on safety outcomes (hyperkalaemia and hospitalization for acute kidney injury) were independent of NT-proBNP. In conclusion, baseline NT-proBNP may be used as a marker to predict the response to aliskiren with regard to cardiorenal outcomes when added to standard therapy with RAAS inhibition.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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