Recommendation ID

The impact of atrial fibrillation on the natriuretic peptide threshold for diagnosing heart failure:- What is the optimal NT-proBNP threshold for the diagnosis of heart failure in people with atrial fibrillation?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia in the general population, and occurs in 30 to 40% of people with heart failure. Atrial fibrillation can raise the level of serum natriuretic peptides, including NT-proBNP, even in the absence of heart failure. This is complicated further in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, in which 2 echocardiographic diagnostic criteria become unreliable (the left atrial volume and the tissue doppler imaging assessment of diastolic function).
These factors contribute to the complexity of the diagnosis and have a potential impact on the usual thresholds for NT-proBNP in people who have atrial fibrillation. This has been recognised in several ongoing randomised controlled trials of heart failure, which are using higher NT-proBNP thresholds for the diagnosis of heart failure in people with atrial fibrillation.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Chronic heart failure in adults: diagnosis and management
Date issued
September 2018

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 30/09/2018