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Biomarkers in heart failure: a focus on natriuretic peptides

Abstract

While progress has been made in the management of most aspects of cardiovascular disease, the incidence and prevalence of heart failure (HF) remains high. HF affects around a million people in the UK and has a worse prognosis than most cancers. Patients with HF are often elderly with complex comorbidities, making accurate assessment of HF challenging. A timely diagnosis and initiation of evidence-based treatments are key to prevent hospitalisation and improve outcomes in this population. Biomarkers have dramatically impacted the way patients with HF are evaluated and managed. The most studied biomarkers in HF are natriuretic peptides (NPs). Since their discovery in the 1980s, there has been an explosion of work in the field of NPs and they have become an important clinical tool used in everyday practice to guide diagnosis and prognostic assessment of patients with HF. In this article, we will review the physiology of NPs and study their biological effects. Then, we will discuss the role of NPs in the diagnosis, management and prognostication of patients with HF. We will also explore the role of NPs as a potential therapeutic agent.

  • heart failure
  • biomarkers

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