Objective The objective of this study is to examine if the B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) can be used in diagnosing heart failure (HF) in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) who present to the emergency department (ED) with acute bronchiolitis.
Methods A prospective cohort single-group study of children with CHD and respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis was conducted in a pediatric ED. The reference standard for the presence of HF was the clinical and echocardiographic assessment of a pediatric cardiologist blinded to the BNP test results.
Results Eighteen cases were diagnosed, 7 (39%) had acute HF and 11 (61%) did not have acute HF. Patients with HF had a higher level of BNP compared with patients who did not have HF (783 pg/mL [interquartile range, 70-1345] vs 59 pg/mL [interquartile range, 23-90]; P <.013). A BNP level of 95 pg/mL was the optimal cutoff point, having a sensitivity of 0.71 (95% confidence interval, 0.29-0.96) and a specificity of 0.91 (95% confidence interval, 0.58-0.99).
Conclusion The results of this small study suggest that the BNP test can be useful to ascertain the presence of HF in children with CHD who present to the ED with respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis.