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Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia

On-line version ISSN 1678-4170


VILLACORTA, Humberto et al. The Role of B-Type Natriuretic Peptide in the Diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure in Patients Presenting to an Emergency Department with Dyspnea. Arq. Bras. Cardiol. [online]. 2002, vol.79, n.6, pp. 569-572. ISSN 1678-4170.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the utility of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) in patients presenting with dyspnea to an emergency department (ED). METHODS: Seventy patients presenting with dyspnea to an ED from April to July 2001 were included in the study. Mean age was 72±16 years and 33 (47%) were male. BNP was measured in all patients at the moment of admission to the ED. Emergency-care physicians, blinded to BNP values, were required to assign a probable initial diagnosis. A cardiologist retrospectively reviewed the data (blinded to BNP measurements) and assigned a definite diagnosis, which was considered the gold standard for assessing the diagnostic performance of BNP. RESULTS: The mean BNP concentration was higher in patients with CHF (n=36) than in those with other diagnoses (990±550 vs 80±67 pg/mL, p<0.0001). Patients with systolic dysfunction had higher BNP levels than those with preserved systolic function (1,180±641 vs 753±437 pg/mL, p=0.03). At a blood concentration of 200 pg/mL, BNP showed a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 97.1%, positive predictive value of 97.3%, and negative predictive value of 100%. The application of BNP could have potentially corrected all 16 cases in which the diagnosis was missed by the emergency department physician. CONCLUSION: BNP measurement is a useful tool in the diagnosis of CHF in patients presenting to the ED with dyspnea.

Keywords : heart failure; natriuretic peptides; emergency medicine.

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