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Evidence to Improve Care

Use of B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) and N-Terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) as Diagnostic Tests in Adults With Suspected Heart Failure

Final Recommendation

  • Ontario Health, based on guidance from the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding natriuretic peptide (BNP or NT-proBNP) testing for the diagnosis of people with suspected heart failure in the community and emergency department settings

Read the final recommendation report

Heart failure is a major cause of illness and death. About 50,000 Canadians are diagnosed with heart failure each year, and an estimated 600,000 Canadians are living with heart failure. It is important that heart failure be diagnosed early and treated appropriately.

There is no single diagnostic test for heart failure, and diagnosis can be challenging since the symptoms of heart failure can be caused by other conditions. The levels of certain hormones—B-type natriuretic peptide and N-terminal proBNP—in the blood may indicate that a person is experiencing heart failure. Test kits have been developed that can measure the levels of these hormones and possibly help health care practitioners make the diagnosis of heart failure.

This health technology assessment looked at the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these test kits. It also looked at the budget impact of publicly funding these tests for adults who might have heart failure. And it looked at the experiences, preferences, and values of people with suspected heart failure.

Read the full health technology assessment report for more information.

Use of B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) and N-Terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) as Diagnostic Tests in Adults With Suspected Heart Failure: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
May 2021

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The Laboratory and Diagnostics Branch (LDB) recommends accepting this recommendation for NT-proBNP only in the community lab setting and both BNP and NT-proBNP for emergency department settings.

The Ministry of Health has provided the following response: The Ministry has a standardized process in place to review health technology assessments and funding recommendations. This takes into consideration Ministry priorities, implementation options, the need for consultation with impacted stakeholders, and funding considerations.

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