The most important use of natriuretic peptides is in helping to establish the diagnosis of heart failure (HF) in a patient in the urgent care setting in whom the diagnosis is uncertain.
The reference values of brain-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal (NT) proBNP are different to exclude or confirm a diagnosis of heart failure. These values also depend on age and gender and are higher in elderly persons and women.
Normal findings are as follows
BNP: < 100 pg/mL
NT-proBNP: < 300 pg/mL
BNP: >400 pg/mL (heart failure likely)
In patients with a prior diagnosis of heart failure, knowledge of optivolemic natriuretic peptide values is important when interpreting elevated levels of these molecules.