Combining natriuretic peptides and necrosis markers in determining prognosis in heart failure

Rev Cardiovasc Med. 2003;4 Suppl 4:S20-8.


Despite significant advances in medical therapy, patients with heart failure remain at increased risk of overall mortality, progressive ventricular dysfunction, and sudden cardiac death. Although a number of individual clinical and laboratory variables have been identified as being associated with increased mortality risk in heart failure, there remains a clear need for an integrated, accurate method of determining prognosis. Elevated plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) has been demonstrated to be a powerful marker for prognosis and risk stratification in the setting of heart failure. Patients with elevated BNP levels have been shown to be at significantly higher risk for heart failure admission or death, and higher BNP levels are associated with progressively worse prognosis. Although cardiac troponins are a well-established diagnostic and prognostic marker in acute coronary syndromes, emerging data suggest that cardiac troponins also provide independent prognostic information in heart failure. Detection of cardiac troponins in the serum of patients with heart failure has been shown to be associated with an impaired hemodynamic profile, progressive decline in left ventricular systolic function, and shortened survival. Combining a marker of myocyte injury-cardiac troponin-with BNP in a multimarker strategy appears to be a useful tool for improving risk assessment and triage in patients with heart failure. Heart failure patients with detectable cardiac troponin I and high BNP levels have been shown to have a 12-fold increased mortality risk compared with those with both undetectable cardiac troponin I and lower BNP. Integrating this multimarker approach into the routine assessment of heart failure patients will allow clinicians to more accurately identify high-risk patients who may derive increased benefit from intensive management strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Heart Failure / blood
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain* / blood
  • Necrosis
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Troponin / blood
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / blood
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / pathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain