Old and newer biomarkers in heart failure: from pathophysiology to clinical significance


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Abstract

Heart failure is a complex disease in which a careful clinical examination and the measurement of cardiac function may not always be sufficient for making a correct diagnosis. Measuring plasma levels of natriuretic peptides may assist in this process, also offering a good tool for accurate risk stratification. Other alternative biomarkers may give insight into the different pathways of heart failure genesis and pathophysiology, and may help to identify those patients with overt heart failure and a more adverse outcome, or distinguish between those at risk of developing heart failure. Despite a high number of potentially useful biomarkers, only a few will likely be introduced routinely into clinical practice. However, a multi-marker approach might increase the diagnostic accuracy and it might identify different phenotypes of heart failure patients who might benefit from individualized therapy in the future.

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