Detection of acute heart failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients: role of B-type natriuretic peptide

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Unrecognized chronic heart failure is present in 21–30% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. It may be a precipitating factor for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or may hinder weaning from mechanical ventilation. The aim of the review is to emphasize recent studies that validated measurements of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide in the diagnosis of heart dysfunction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

Recent findings

Measurements of B-type natriuretic peptide or N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptides are accurate in the diagnosis of left heart dysfunction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients either in stable condition or during acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Natriuretic peptide thresholds are elevated in comparison to cut-offs usually reported in patients without pulmonary disease. B-type natriuretic peptide dosage is also able to uncover new onset of left heart failure associated with weaning difficulties from mechanical ventilation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

Summary

Recent evidence suggests that natriuretic peptide measurements are accurate in the diagnosis of coexisting left heart failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, either in stable condition or during severe cardiopulmonary interactions occurring during acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or evoking weaning difficulties related to left heart dysfunction.

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