What is brain natriuretic peptide (BNP)?

Updated: Jan 08, 2018
  • Author: Donald Schreiber, MD, CM; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Since its discovery over 25 years ago, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), also referred to as B-type natriuretic peptide, has emerged as an important biomarker with an established role in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF). Investigators from several large studies examined the performance characteristics of BNP testing in the acute care setting to assist in diagnosing CHF and in predicting long-term morbidity and mortality. Its utility has also been explored in myocardial ischemia and infarction, in right-sided heart failure (eg, cor pulmonale), and in acute pulmonary embolism (PE).

Furthermore, clinical trials are currently under way to determine if serial BNP measurements have a role in guiding the titration of CHF therapies. Recombinant BNP (nesiritide) has been evaluated and approved for adjunctive therapy for acute CHF, although subsequent evidence of harm dramatically diminished its use for this indication.

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