Background: The aim of this survey was to investigate how well heart failure (HF) guidelines for use of natriuretic peptides (NPs) have been implemented in laboratory practice in Europe and North America.
Methods: In 2013 and 2014, a web-based questionnaire was distributed via North American and European biochemical societies. Questions covered assay performed, reason for method choice, decision limits for HF, and laboratory accreditation status.
Results: There were 442 European Union and 91 North American participating laboratories with response rates of 50% and 64% from major or university hospitals, respectively. NP measurements were offered in 67% of European Union and 58% of North American respondents. N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) was most widely used in Europe (68%) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) was more commonly used (58%) in North America. The most frequent reason for use of a specific assay was the availability of instruments that measure either NT-proBNP (51%) or BNP (67%). For diagnosis of acute HF, NT-proBNP decision limits were diverse; age-dependent limits based on the 2012 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recommendations were used in only 17% of European sites and 26% of North American sites. For BNP, the guideline-recommended acute HF decision limit of 100 ng/L was better adhered to in Europe (48%) and North America (57%). Surprisingly, similar decision limits were stated for acute and chronic HF by >50% of respondents.
Conclusions: NP measurement for HF diagnosis was available in >50% of responding laboratories. However, guideline recommended cutoff values for both acute and chronic HF were still implemented in <30% of participating medical centers.
- Received July 20, 2016.
- Accepted October 4, 2016.
- © 2017 American Association for Clinical Chemistry