BACKGROUND: The diagnostic workup of transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) requires an exclusion of transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO). Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic (NT-pro-BNP) accurately diagnosed TACO in preliminary studies that did not include patients with TRALI.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, two critical care experts blinded to serum levels of BNP and NT-pro-BNP determined the diagnosis of TRALI, TACO, and possible TRALI based on the consensus conference definitions. The accuracy of BNP and NT-pro-BNP was assessed based on the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC).
RESULTS: Of 115 patients who developed acute pulmonary edema after transfusion, 34 were identified with TRALI, 31 with possible TRALI, and 50 with TACO. Median BNP was 375 pg per mL (interquartile range [IQR], 123 to 781 pg/mL) in TRALI, 446 pg per mL (IQR, 128 to 743 pg/mL) in possible TRALI, and 559 pg per mL (IQR, 288 to 1348 pg/mL) in TACO patients (p = 0.038). The NT-pro-BNP levels among patients with TRALI, possible TRALI, and TACO differed significantly with a median value of 1559 pg per mL (IQR, 629 to 5114 pg/mL), 2349 pg/mL (IQR, 919 to 4610 pg/mL), and 5197 pg/mL (IQR, 1695 to 15,714 pg/mL; p = 0.004), respectively. The accuracy of BNP and NT-pro-BNP to diagnose TACO was moderate with an AUC of 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51-0.74) and 0.70 (95% CI, 0.59 to 0.80).
CONCLUSIONS: Natriuretic peptides are of limited diagnostic value in a differential diagnosis of pulmonary edema after transfusion in the critically ill patients.