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Chest radiographs and BNP levels provided complementary information beyond clinical findings for diagnosing heart failure

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 Q In patients with acute dyspnoea, how do chest radiographic findings and circulating B type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels compare for diagnosing heart failure (HF)?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★★★ Internal medicine ★★★★★★★ Respirology ★★★★★☆☆ Cardiology ★★★★☆☆☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

blinded comparison of chest radiographs and BNP levels with confirmatory clinical diagnosis.

Embedded ImageSetting:

5 teaching hospitals in the United States and 2 in Europe.

Embedded ImagePatients:

880 patients (mean age 64 y, 55% men) presenting to the emergency department (ED) with a principal complaint of shortness of breath (either the sudden onset of dyspnoea with no history of chronic dyspnoea or an increase in the severity of chronic dyspnoea); and had complete information on BNP, historical, clinical, and electrocardiographic data, and chest radiographic findings. Patients with dyspnoea not caused by HF (eg., stabbing injuries, trauma, …

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  • For correspondence: Dr T Omland, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

  • Source of funding: Biosite Diagnostics.