The utility of electrocardiography (ECG) in screening for left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in general populations is limited mainly because its low sensitivity. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is released due to the remodeling processes of LVH and could improve the diagnostic accuracy for the ECG criteria for LVH. We hypothesized that addition of BNP levels to ECG criteria could aid LVH detection compared with ECG alone in a general population. We enrolled consecutive 343 subjects from a community-based cohort. LVH was defined as LV mass index > 95 g/m2 for females and > 115 g/m2 for males according to echocardiography. The area under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve to detect LVH was 0.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.50-0.61) in Sokolow-Lyon criteria and 0.53 (0.47-0.59) in the Cornell voltage criteria. After addition of N-terminal-proBNP levels to the model, the corresponding areas under the ROC were 0.63 (0.58-0.69) and 0.64 (0.59-0.69), respectively. P values for the comparison in areas under the ROC for models with and without N-terminal-proBNP levels were < 0.001. These data suggest that addition of N-terminal-proBNP levels to ECG criteria could significantly improve the diagnostic accuracy of LVH in general populations.
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