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January 2005, Volume 35 Number 1 , p 26 - 26


  • Jennifer Kim APRN, BC, MSN




    A 75-year-old man with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure came to the ED with dyspnea that had worsened over the past 24 hours. One of the diagnostic tests ordered for him was a B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level. What is this and what can it tell me about the patient's condition? —D.C., OKLA.

    Jennifer Kim, APRN, BC, MSN, replies: The BNP test is the first specific blood test available to diagnose and guide treatment of heart failure, which often is misdiagnosed. Simple, quick, and less costly than other diagnostic tools, the BNP test can detect heart failure, establish its severity, and help clinicians determine a patient's prognosis.

    Levels of BNP rise with disease severity. In general, a level of less than 100 pg/ml is considered normal; 100 to 300 pg/ml indicates mild heart failure; 300 to 700 pg/ml indicates moderate heart failure; and above 700 pg/ml indicates ...

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