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Am J Cardiol. 2008 Feb 4;101(3A):67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2007.11.026.

Amino-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide testing for inpatient monitoring and treatment guidance of acute destabilized heart failure.

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Serviço de Medicina Interna, Hospital S João Alameda Hernani Monteiro, Porto, Portugal.


Although typically elevated at presentation in the context of destabilized heart failure (HF), amino-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) values typically decrease rapidly among patients who have a favorable response to therapy. Given this, it is natural to examine the relation between NT-proBNP and therapeutic interventions for acute HF. Both presentation and posttreatment NT-proBNP concentrations have some value for prognostication of recurrent HF hospitalization or death. However, the percent change in NT-proBNP after treatment for acute HF may be a more powerful method for risk stratification. Although prospective studies on the effect of NT-proBNP measurement in guiding therapy in acute destabilized HF are lacking, observational data suggest that a 30% decrease in NT-proBNP values during hospitalization is a reasonable goal. If a baseline measure of NT-proBNP is not available, an NT-proBNP level <4,000 ng/L after acute treatment is an alternative goal. Because the criteria for determining restabilization from destabilized HF prominently include clinical and routine laboratory testing rather than NP measures, the frequency of NT-proBNP measurement should not be excessive in patients with acute HF, with measures at baseline/presentation and after perceived recompensation to evaluate for the desired decrease in NT-proBNP concentrations. A remeasurement of NT-proBNP may also be useful for evaluation of new or worsened symptoms. In those patients without a decrease in NT-proBNP despite perceived recompensation from HF, a review of adequacy of treatment, goals of therapy, and consideration of prognosis is recommended.

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