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03.02.2021 | Original Contributions

Reliability of the blood pressure response during performance of bedside Valsalva maneuver and association with NT-pBNP levels

Zeitschrift:
Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie
Autoren:
J. Schlitzer, H. J. Heppner, MD H. Frohnhofen

Abstract

Background

Heart failure (HF) is common in older people. The diagnosis of HF, however, is difficult in older subjects, especially in settings without direct access to further diagnostics. The type of blood pressure response during the performance of a Valsalva maneuver has been suggested as an easily applicable bedside test to detect HF; however, the reliability of this maneuver and the association with HF is unknown in geriatric patients.

Methods

This study included 89 patients admitted for geriatric rehabilitation. Systolic blood pressure was taken while the patient performed a Valsalva maneuver. The systolic blood pressure response was classified as sinusoidal (type A), absent overshoot (type B) or square pattern (type C). To test interrater reliability systolic blood pressure response was evaluated independently by two investigators. The procedure was repeated after 1h to estimate test-retest reliability. Both investigators were blinded to the results of the other. Interrater reliability and test-retest reliability were calculated using Cohen’s kappa. Blood samples for N‑terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pBNP) were obtained on the morning the Valsalva maneuver was performed.

Results

Blood pressure response was sinusoidal in 37 (42%), showed an absent overshoot in 17 (19%) and had a square wave pattern in 34 (38%) patients. Cohen’s kappa was 0.911 (95% CI 0.837–0.985) for interrater reliability and 0.929 (95% CI 0. 0.862–0.996) for test-retest reliability. The interrater and test-retest agreement were 94% and 96%, respectively. The mean NT-pBNP plasma levels and the interquartile ranges (IQR) in subjects with types A, B and C blood pressure response pattern were 213 (153–324) pg/ml, 805 (622–1332) pg/ml and 3964 (2595–5906) pg/ml, respectively (p < 0.001).

Conclusion

The blood pressure response during a Valsalva maneuver shows an excellent reliability in older subjects. The type of response is associated with the NT-pBNP plasma level.

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