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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2012 April;60(2):183-94


language: English

Clinical impact of BNP and other emerging biomarkers in heart failure evaluation and management

Palazzuoli A., Caputo M., Calabrò A., Nuti R.

Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Malattie Metaboliche Sezione di Cardiologia Ospedale S. Maria alle Scotte, Università di Siena, Italy


Hospitalization for decompensated heart failure (HF) is associated with extraordinarily high rates of morbidity and mortality. Despite its high prevalence its pathophysiologic mechanisms and future risk stratification remain poorly defined and understudied. Several clinical Risk Scores to recognize high risk patients, has been purposed in the past but they are not able to completely identify future adverse events. In this sense, laboratory biomarkers play an important role in heart failure, but there remain unanswered questions regarding optimization of their use. One of the biggest hopes for utilizing biomarker testing is to determine the level of disease severity in a manner to triage medical decisions as well as to monitor their responses. Early diagnosis is very important for a better therapy optimization and outcome improving. Indeed, identification is often difficult because of symptoms unspecificity and the lack of gold standard protocol to make diagnosis. B-type natriuretic peptide is a useful tool to confirm or rule out heart failure. Therefore, BNP is one of the most best prognostic indicator in all stages of heart failure predicting outcome in both hospitalized and outpatients. Other neurohormonal, inflammatory and metabolic markers may add complementary information to that provided by currently available B-type natriuretic peptide assays. However all specific and general laboratory parameters cannot substitute to traditional clinical evaluation but could be used in adjunction for more precise evaluation and assessment. We reviewed traditional and some of emerging biomarkers of potential clinical application in HF setting.

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