Atrial natriuretic peptide as a marker of heart failure in children with left ventricular volume overload


  • Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: A/Professor Nevin Mohamed Mamdouh Habeeb, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, 15 A Saraya El Kobba square-El Zeytoon, Cairo, Egypt. Fax: +0020 22924 8926; email:



To evaluate the role of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) in differentiating the aetiology of heart failure in children with left ventricular (LV) volume overload.


The study was conducted on 48 patients with LV volume overload (G one: rheumatic heart disease in failure; G2: compensated rheumatic heart disease; G3: congenital left to right shunt; and G4: dilated cardiomyopathy). Twelve healthy children served as a control group. New York Heart Association (NYHA) class, LV dimensions and functions using Vivid 7 dimensions were evaluated. Serum ANP was measured using the ELISA technique, before and 3 months after treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor.


ANP was raised in all patients as compared to controls (G one: 28.33 ± 5.78, G2: 26.5 ± 4.11, G3: 28.5 ± 6.6, G4: 29.25 ± 4.5 pg/mL, control group: 5.54 ± 1.4 pg/mL, P < 0.001 for all) and varied significantly between different NYHA classes regardless of the underlying cardiac lesion. It was significantly higher in group 1 than 2 (P < 0.05). It decreased significantly after treatment (G1: 15.3 ± 5.3, G2: 10.7 ± 2.5, G3: 11.5 ± 3.8, G4: 15.7 ± 10.7 pg/mL, P < 0.001). The rate of change of ANP correlated with that of LV end diastolic diameter (r = 0.3, P < 0.05) irrespective of the underlying cause.


ANP increases in cases of LV volume overload irrespective of the aetiology of heart failure. It can differentiate between children in quiescent state from those in clinical failure even in the absence of echocardiographically detectable systolic dysfunction. Furthermore, it can monitor LV remodelling with treatment.