B-type natriuretic peptide: issues for the intensivist and pulmonologist

Jason Phua, Phua Jason, Tow Keang Lim, Lim Tow Keang, Kang Hoe Lee, Lee Kang Hoe
Critical Care Medicine 2005, 33 (9): 2094-13

OBJECTIVE: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP), although promising as biomarkers for heart failure, are affected by multiple confounders. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on the utility of BNP and NT-proBNP as biomarkers, with a focus on their role in critical illness and pulmonary diseases.

DATA SOURCE: Published articles on BNP and NT-proBNP.

DATA ANALYSIS: Multiple disorders in the intensive care unit cause elevated BNP and NT-proBNP levels, including cardiac diseases, shock, pulmonary hypertension, acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute pulmonary embolism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal failure, and other conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Intensivists and pulmonologists should understand that BNP and NT-proBNP levels might be raised to different degrees not only in heart failure but also in critical illness and various pulmonary diseases; in these situations, BNP and NT-proBNP may also serve as markers of severity and prognosis.

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