Circulating natriuretic peptide measurements have been used extensively over the past 15 years to diagnose and monitor patients with heart failure. We are still learning how complex the dynamics of natriuretic peptides can be in the interpretation of test results in individual patients. Although natriuretic peptide measurements are widely used in practice, there are questions regarding why these peptides may not necessarily track with blood volume or invasive hemodynamic measurements in individual patients. Interpretation of natriuretic peptide measurements will depend on many factors, including special patient populations, obesity, renal function, the state of congestion or decongestion, and whether patients are receiving specific therapies. Natriuretic peptide measurements have clearly revolutionized clinical care for patients with heart failure, but further research should provide insights to help use these measurements to individualize patient care beyond the current guidelines.
- biological markers