The diagnostic and prognostic value of brain natriuretic peptide and aminoterminal (nt)-pro brain natriuretic peptide

Thomas Weber, Johann Auer, Bernd Eber
Current Pharmaceutical Design 2005, 11 (4): 511-25
The discovery of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and n-terminal pro BNP (nt-proBNP) as markers for the diagnosis, severity and prognosis of patients with congestive heart failure has been called a true breakthrough for patients and physicians faced with this disorder. Moreover, the literature on their prognostic value in other clinical conditions like acute coronary syndromes, right-sided heart failure and even in the general population is rapidly growing. This review aims to sort out the current evidence on the clinical utility of the natriuretic peptides with a focus on their diagnostic and prognostic values. With respect to their diagnostic properties, the test is best used to rule out heart failure in patients with acute dyspnoe, because low levels of these neurohormones in this clinical context make the presence of heart failure very unlikely. In patients with elevated values of BNP or nt-proBNP, further cardiological assessment is necessary, as their plasma levels are affected not only by left ventricular function.

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