The natriuretic peptide (NP) system, which includes atrial natriuretic peptide, B-type natriuretic peptide, and C-type natriuretic peptide, has an important role in cardiovascular homeostasis, promoting a number of physiological effects including diuresis, vasodilation, and inhibition of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Heart failure (HF) is associated with defects in NP processing and synthesis, and there is a strong relationship between NP levels and disease state. NPs are useful biomarkers in HF, and their use in diagnosis and evaluation of prognosis is well established, particularly in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). There has also been interest in their use to guide disease management and therapeutic decision making. An understanding of NPs in HF has also resulted in interest in synthetic NPs for the treatment of HF and in treatments that target neprilysin, a protease that degrades NPs. A novel drug, the angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ696), which simultaneously inhibits neprilysin and blocks the angiotensin II type I receptor, was shown to have a favorable efficacy and safety profile in patients with HFrEF and has been approved for use in such patients in Europe and the USA. In light of the development of treatments that target neprilysin and of recent data in relation to synthetic NPs, it is timely to review the current understanding of the role of NPs in HF and their use in diagnosis, evaluating prognosis and guiding treatment, as well as their place in HF therapy.
- Heart failure
- Natriuretic peptide
- Neurohormonal balance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine