Pathology Handbook



N-terminal pro-b-type natriuretic peptide

Clinical Indications

Pro B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is released from the cardiac ventricles in response to stretching of the chamber and is cleaved to form biologically active BNP and N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP). The assay used at Southend measures NT-proBNP.
It has been introduced to 'rule-out' suspected heart failure and help select patients requiring cardiac imaging. It is important that it is only requested in patients meeting specific criteria (see below), otherwise many 'false positive' results may be generated which will need follow-up cardiac imaging. 

Request Form

Request on ICE


Only available to GPs

Specific Criteria

BNP analyses is only available for investigation of new cases of suspected heart failure.  ECG and chest X-ray should have been undertaken and anaemia, renal, liver and thyroid dysfunction excluded.

Turnaround Time

Run weekly


Serum in gold-top vacutainer


2 ml


Vacutainer gold top

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; not meeting specific criteria for BNP requesting.

Reference Range

Males: <100 pmolL

Females <150 pmol/L

If levels exceed the cut-off recommended by Cardiology, the patient will automatically be referred for an echocardiogram