Effect of Intensive Blood Pressure Control on Troponin and Natriuretic Peptide Levels: Findings From SPRINT

Jarett D Berry, Haiying Chen, Vijay Nambi, Walter T. Ambrosius, Simon B. Ascher, Michael G. Shlipak, Joachim H. Ix, Rajesh Gupta, Anthony Killeen, Robert D. Toto, Dalane W. Kitzman, Christie M. Ballantyne, James A. De Lemos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Given the important role of cardiac injury and neurohormonal activation in the pathways leading from hypertension to heart failure and strong associations observed between hypertension and its sequelae on hs-cTnT (high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T) and NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) levels, we hypothesized that intensive systolic blood pressure (SBP) lowering would decrease levels of hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP. Methods: hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP were measured at baseline and 1 year from stored specimens in SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial). Changes in biomarkers were evaluated continuously on the log scale and according to categories (≥50% increase, ≥50% decrease, or <50% change). The effect of intensive SBP lowering on continuous and categorical changes in biomarker levels were assessed using linear and multinomial logistic regression models, respectively. The association between changes in biomarkers on heart failure and death was assessed using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Randomization to intensive SBP lowering (versus standard SBP management) resulted in a 3% increase in hs-cTnT levels over 1-year follow-up (geometric mean ratio, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.01-1.04]) and a higher proportion of participants with ≥50% increase (odds ratio, 1.47 [95% CI, 1.13, 1.90]). In contrast, randomization to intensive SBP lowering led to a 10% decrease in NT-proBNP (geometric mean ratio, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.87-0.93]) and a lower probability of ≥50% increase in NT-proBNP (odds ratio, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.46-0.72]). The association of randomized treatment assignment on change in hs-cTnT was completely attenuated after accounting for changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate over follow-up, whereas the association of treatment with NT-proBNP was completely attenuated after adjusting for change in SBP. Increases in hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP from baseline to 1 year were associated with higher risk for heart failure and death, with no significant interactions by treatment assignment. Conclusions: Intensive SBP lowering increased hs-cTnT, mediated by the effect of SBP lowering on reduced kidney filtration. In contrast, intensive SBP lowering decreased NT-proBNP, a finding that was explained by the decrease in SBP. These findings highlight the importance of noncardiac factors influencing variation in cardiac biomarkers and raise questions about the potential role of hs-cTnT as a surrogate marker for heart failure or death in SBP-lowering studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-323
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 24 2023


  • biomarkers
  • blood pressure
  • heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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