Natriuretic peptide testing: A window into the diagnosis and prognosis of heart failure
James L. Januzzi, Jr, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Address: James L. Januzzi, Jr, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Cardiac Unit Associates, 55 Fruit Street, YAN 5, Boston, MA 02114
The author has indicated that he has served as a consultant and a speaker for the Ortho and Roche corportations.
Medical Grand Rounds articles are based on edited transcripts from Division of Medicine Grand Rounds presentations at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. They are approved by the author but are not peer-reviewed.
ABSTRACTB-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP) levels can indicate a variety of heart problems, as well as general critical illness. BNP and NT-proBNP assays are useful for evaluating patients with acute dyspnea, as a low level of natriuretic peptide can help rule out congestive heart failure (CHF) and reduce reliance on echocardiography. Conversely, these assays can be particularly useful in recognizing CHF in a patient with acute dyspnea and a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, clinical judgment must always be part of the evaluation of BNP or NT-proBNP assay results.