Should B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Be Measured Routinely to Guide the Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Heart Failure?

Milton Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

101 Scopus citations


Additional study is needed to define the role of routine BNP measurements in the diagnosis and management of chronic heart failure. However, evidence to date suggests that levels of BNP (if measured) should not be viewed as a diagnostic test for chronic heart failure. The results of the assay should be interpreted cautiously; specific threshold values should not be used; and the test cannot replace or supersede the judgment of the clinician. Sequential measurements in patients with established heart failure have not been shown to be useful in assisting in the follow-up of patients or in the initiation or titration of appropriate medications. Given these limitations and uncertainties, we might wonder why the measurement of BNP has become so popular in some circles. Are physicians monitoring BNP because they really believe the assay provides unique and valuable information? Or do physicians think that heart failure has become so difficult to manage that they no longer trust their own skills and clinical judgment?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2950-2953
Number of pages4
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 16 2003



  • Diagnosis
  • Editorials
  • Heart failure
  • Natriuretic peptides
  • Tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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