BNP testing in primary care
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Introduction - Assays of B-type natriuretic peptides
|Our key recommendations are:
B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) assays have become important aids in the diagnosis and perhaps more importantly, the exclusion of heart failure. Normal levels virtually exclude the diagnosis of heart failure and very high levels effectively confirm the diagnosis; intermediate levels require confirmation by echocardiography.
These peptides are released into the circulation by distended ventricular walls as the active peptide, BNP, and the inactive peptide, NT-proBNP. Assays may be performed on either but there are no conversion factors for comparison between these measures. Furthermore, there is variability in the type of assay used and availability of testing across the country.
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