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Med Sci Monit. 2009 May;15(5):SR5-14.

No improvement in studies reporting the diagnostic accuracy of B-type natriuretic peptide.

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1st Department of Cardiac Surgery, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.



B-type natriuretic peptides (BNP and NT-proBNP) appeared as important tools for diagnosis, risk stratification, and therapeutic decision making in cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the study was to assess fulfillment of the QUADAS and major STARD criteria in B-type natriuretic peptide diagnostic accuracy studies and describe the relationship between the year of study publication. the journal's impact factor, and the quality of diagnostic accuracy.


In a cross-sectional study, electronic and manual searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from January 2004 through April 2007 for diagnostic accuracy studies of BNP and NT-proBNP were performed. The quality of articles was assessed using of the 14-item QUADAS tool supplemented by a subjectively prepared list of 8 less reproducible STARD criteria (total of 22 possible points).


Twenty-eight articles suitable for analysis were found. The median number of points was 15. Only 2 of the 28 articles satisfied all 22 criteria. Clinical data availability was the only item described sufficiently in all papers. A flow diagram was found in only one paper. There were no differences in article quality in relation to the year of publication and no association between article quality and the impact factor of the journal in which it was published.


Imperfect quality of studies reporting the diagnostic accuracy of B-type natriuretic peptides is related to neither the year of publication nor the journal's impact factor. The problem of reporting diagnostic accuracy cannot be neglected, especially when a new index test becomes common in clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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