Does Baseline BUN Have an Additive Effect on the Prediction of Mortality in Patients with Acute Pulmonary Embolism?
Background: In patients with heart failure, elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) is a prognostic factor. In this study, we investigated the prognostic value of elevated baseline BUN in short-term mortality among patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE).
Methods: Between 2007 and 2014, cardiac biomarkers and BUN levels were measured in patients with acute PE. The primary endpoint was 30-day mortality, evaluated based on the baseline BUN (≥14 ng/L) level in 4 groups of patients according to the European Society of Cardiology’s risk stratification (low-risk, intermediate low-risk, intermediate high-risk, and high-risk).
Results: Our study recruited 492 patients with a diagnosis of acute PE (mean age=60.58±16.81 y). The overall 1-month mortality rate was 6.9% (34 patients). Elevated BUN levels were reported in 316 (64.2%) patients. A high simplified pulmonary embolism severity index (sPESI) score (OR: 5.23, 95% CI: 1.43–19.11; P=0.012), thrombolytic or thrombectomy therapy (OR: 2.42, 95% CI: 1.01–5.13; P=0.021), and elevated baseline BUN levels (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01–1.03; P=0.029) were the independent predictors of 30-day mortality. According to our receiver-operating characteristics analysis for 30-day mortality, a baseline BUN level of greater than 14.8 mg/dL was considered elevated. In the intermediate-low-risk patients, mortality occurred only in those with elevated baseline BUN levels (7.2% vs. 0; P=0.008).
Conclusion: An elevated baseline BUN level in our patients with PE was an independent predictor of short-term mortality, especially among those in the intermediate-risk group.
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