The use of B-type natriuretic peptides in the intensive care unit

Congest Heart Fail. 2008 Jul-Aug;14(4 Suppl 1):43-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7133.2008.tb00011.x.


B-type natriuretic peptide levels are quantitative markers of cardiac stress and heart failure that summarize the extent of systolic and diastolic left ventricular dysfunction, valvular dysfunction, and right ventricular dysfunction. Initial observational pilot studies have addressed 7 potential indications in the intensive care unit: identification of cardiac dysfunction, diagnosis of hypoxic respiratory failure, risk stratification in severe sepsis and septic shock, evaluation of patients with shock, estimation of invasive measurements, weaning from mechanical ventilation, as well as perioperative and postoperative risk prediction. Although additional studies are required to better define the clinical utility of B-type natriuretic peptide values in the intensive care unit, current data suggest that the diagnosis of hypoxic respiratory failure and timing of extubation seem to be the most promising indications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Sepsis


  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain