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Cardiovasc J Afr. 2013 Aug;24(7):286-9. doi: 10.5830/CVJA-2013-055.

Diagnostic and prognostic values of B-type natriuretic peptides (BNP) and N-terminal fragment brain natriuretic peptides (NT-pro-BNP).

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Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania.


B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a member of a fournatriuretic peptide family that shares a common 17-peptide ring structure. The N-terminal fragment (NT-pro-BNP) is biologically inert, but both are secreted in the plasma in equimolar quantities and both have been evaluated for use in the management of congestive heart failure. BNP and NT-pro-BNP are frequently used in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure and distinguishing between patients with dyspnoea of cardiac or pulmonary origin. Values of NT-pro-BNP are affected by age or the presence of one or several co-morbidities such as chronic renal failure, type 2 diabetes, and acute coronary syndrome. 'Normal' values of these peptides also vary depending on the type of test used. The performance characteristics of these tests vary depending on the patients on whom they are used and the manufacturer. For this reason, the determination of reference values for this peptide represents such a challenge.

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