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Does BNP testing aid diagnosis of heart failure?


Heart failure is common, causes major disability and often shortens life. Two UK guidelines advocate the measurement of plasma concentrations of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in diagnosis of chronic heart failure, either in combination with, or as an alternative to, an ECG.1,2 Here we review the evidence for BNP testing in the diagnosis of chronic heart failure, and discuss the implications in terms of availability of the test.

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  • * For more information on diagnostic testing, see our article Understanding statistical terms: 4 – diagnostic tests. DTB 2009; 47:71