Intermedin/adrenomedullin-2 (IMD) is a member of the adrenomedullin/CGRP peptide family. Less is known about the distribution of IMD than for other family members within the mammalian cardiovascular system, particularly in humans. The aim was to evaluate plasma IMD levels in healthy subjects and patients with chronic heart failure. IMD and its precursor fragments, preproIMD25–56 and preproIMD57–92, were measured by radioimmunoassay in 75 healthy subjects and levels of IMD were also compared to those of adrenomedullin (AM) and mid-region proadrenomedullin45–92 (MRproAM45–92) in 19 patients with systolic heart failure (LVEF < 45%). In healthy subjects, plasma levels (mean + SE) of IMD (6.3 + 0.6 pg ml−1) were lower than, but correlated with those of AM (25.8 + 1.8 pg ml−1; r = 0.49, p < 0.001). Plasma preproIMD25–56 (39.6 + 3.1 pg ml−1), preproIMD57–92 (25.9 + 3.8 pg ml−1) and MRproAM45–92 (200.2 + 6.7 pg ml−1) were greater than their respective bioactive peptides. IMD levels correlated positively with BMI but not age, and were elevated in heart failure (9.8 + 1.3 pg ml−1, p < 0.05), similarly to MRproAM45–92 (329.5 + 41.9 pg ml−1, p < 0.001) and AM (56.8 + 10.9 pg ml−1, p < 0.01). IMD levels were greater in heart failure patients with concomitant renal impairment (11.3 + 1.8 pg ml−1) than those without (6.5 + 1.0 pg ml−1; p < 0.05). IMD and AM were greater in patients receiving submaximal compared with maximal heart failure drug therapy and were decreased after 6 months of cardiac resynchronization therapy. In conclusion, IMD is present in the plasma of healthy subjects less abundantly than AM, but is similarly correlated weakly with BMI. IMD levels are elevated in heart failure, especially with concomitant renal impairment, and tend to be reduced by high intensity drug or pacing therapy.