NT-pro-BNP as marker for cardiac strain that may be caused by high-output arteriovenous shunting in a haemodialysis patient. A case report.

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An arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the first choice when considering access for haemodialysis (HD). When a forearm AVF fails an upper arm AVF is a frequent subsequent dialysis access option. The latter may cause cardiac strain. NT-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-NT-proBNP) is a marker used to estimate volume overload and cardiac strain. This case report shows the benefit of using longitudinal individual follow-up of pre-dialysis NT-proBNP in clinical practice to detect changes in cardiac condition that may be due to high-output AVF.An 18 years old patient performed HD via an upper arm AVF before he was admitted to our unit. NT-proBNP was above the upper detection level of 70,000 ng/L. Echocardiography revealed a left-ventricular cardiac insufficiency. Interdialytic weight gain (IDWG) was above 5%. He was instructed to lower fluid intake and IDWG towards 2%. Four months later NT-proBNP surpassed 70,000 ng/L again. Flow in the brachial artery was at 3034 ml/min. Reconstructive surgery of the AVF did not reduce flow and NT-proBNP in the long run. Clinically, he worsened to NYHA class III-IV. It was decided to close the upper arm AVF and to replace it with a lower arm AVF leading to a reduced artery flow of 1344 mL/min. The clinical condition successively recovered and NT-proBNP decreased to 7000 ng/L.Pre-dialysis NT-proBNP should be considered as a suitable routine marker for cardiac strain such as caused by high-output AVF besides variables such as IDWG. Brachial artery flow besides AVF flow measurement is helpful.

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