Evidence & Practice
Brain natriuretic peptide: what the nurse needs to know
Brain natriuretic peptide is a chemical secreted when the heart is under strain. It is sampled by a blood test. This article informs nurses about how brain natriuretic peptide can be used as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for patients with cardiac conditions.
A brain natriuretic peptide level within the normal range in a patient who is not receiving treatment almost certainly rules out a significant cardiac condition.
An elevated brain natriuretic peptide level suggests an active cardiac condition and further investigations are indicated, usually an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram.
A highly elevated brain natriuretic peptide level is a marker for a more severe prognosis.
Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10224Correspondence
Received: 15 July 2015
Accepted: 09 March 2016
Published online: 10 May 2017