A new use for B-type natriuretic peptide: to detect myocardial ischaemia in non-heart failure patients
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B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a natriuretic pep tide released primarily by ventricular myocytes in response to various physiological and pathological stimuli. In addition to its established diagnostic role in patients with heart failure, a growing body of evidence suggests that raised levels of BNP in the absence of heart failure can indicate myocardial ischaemia. This appears to be the case in patients with symptomatic, and even asymptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD). In this review, we discuss the current evidence supporting the role of BNP as a simple marker of cardiac ischaemia and CAD. We also propose some therapeutic interventions that may be useful when BNP detects silent myocardial ischaemia. © The Author(s), 2010.