B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a cardiac neurohormone which has a principal effect on the kidney to signal both natriuresis and diuresis. Both BNP and renal function are prognostic indicators of survival in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). However, the relationships between BNP, renal function, and CHF as an emergency diagnosis, are not completely understood. The correlation between BNP and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is approximately r = -0.20. At an eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2, the optimum cutpoint for BNP to diagnose CHF rises to approximately 200 pg/ml. At this cutpoint the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve is 0.81, indicating that BNP is of diagnostic value in this group. Importantly, the precursor molecule N-terminal proBNP has a stronger correlation with eGFR of approximately -0.60, and is influenced by the age-related decline in renal function above the lower bounds of normal of < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Because BNP is a principal messenger from the heart to the kidneys, and because it is influenced by renal filtering function, parenchymal mass, and tubular function, BNP can be leveraged in assisting in the diagnosis and management of combined heart and renal failure.