Circulating Biomarkers in Cardiovascular DiseaseView this Special Issue
Natriuretic Peptides~: Prediction of Cardiovascular Disease in the General Population and High Risk Populations
The natriuretic peptides, especially the B-type peptide (BNP) and its inactive split-product N-terminal proBNP (Nt-proBNP) are increasingly used in screening for heart failure, primarily with reduced systolic function, in patients with symptoms suggestive of heart failure, as well in the stable (General Practitioner) setting as in the acute setting.Supporting this use is a very strong prognostic value of the natriuretic peptides. This has been shown in as well heart failure as acute coronary syndromes, but also in the general population and in high-risk groups as patients with diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease.This has of course raised interest for the use of the natriuretic peptides as a risk marker and for screening for heart failure with reduced systolic function in these populations. In symptomatic persons and in high risk populations, the natriuretic peptides have demonstrated a high sensitivity for ruling out the disease, if the right decision limits are choosen. Thus the number of normal echocardiographies can be reduced.More recently, the use in screening asymptomatic persons for left ventricular systolic dysfunction has gained more interest. In the unselected population, screening would probably not be cost-effective. In populations with a higher pre-test probability for heart failure, as patients with diabetes, hypertension and stable coronary artery disease, screening would presumably be more cost-effective, but evidence for the use in this setting is still lacking.