Diagnostic value of B-Type natriuretic peptide and chest radiographic findings in patients with acute dyspnea

Am J Med. 2004 Mar 15;116(6):363-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2003.10.028.


Purpose: To compare chest radiographic findings and circulating B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels as an adjunct to clinical findings in the diagnosis of heart failure in patients presenting with acute dyspnea.

Methods: The diagnostic performance of radiographic evidence of cardiomegaly/redistribution and BNP levels > or =100 pg/mL as indicators of heart failure were assessed in 880 patients presenting with acute dyspnea to the emergency departments of five U.S. and two European teaching hospitals. BNP levels were determined by a rapid, point-of-care device. Two blinded cardiologists reviewed all clinical data and categorized patients as to whether they had acute heart failure (n = 447) or not (n = 433).

Results: Three-factor analyses showed that BNP levels > or =100 pg/mL contributed significantly to the prediction of heart failure over each of the radiographic indicators. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, both BNP levels > or =100 pg/mL (odds ratio [OR] = 12.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.4 to 20.4) and radiographic findings of cardiomegaly (OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.4 to 3.7), cephalization (OR = 6.4; 95% CI: 3.3 to 12.5), and interstitial edema (OR = 7.0; 95% CI: 2.9 to 17.0) added significant, predictive information above historical and clinical predictors of heart failure.

Conclusion: In patients presenting to the emergency department with acute dyspnea, BNP levels and chest radiographs provide complementary diagnostic information that may be useful in the early evaluation of heart failure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiomegaly / diagnosis*
  • Cardiomegaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis*
  • Dyspnea / diagnostic imaging
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood*
  • Radiography, Thoracic*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain