Congestive heart failure laboratory tests

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Congestive Heart Failure Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective



Systolic Dysfunction
Diastolic Dysfunction


Differentiating Congestive heart failure from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Clinical Assessment

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings


Chest X Ray

Cardiac MRI


Exercise Stress Test

Myocardial Viability Studies

Cardiac Catheterization

Other Imaging Studies

Other Diagnostic Studies


Invasive Hemodynamic Monitoring

Medical Therapy:

Acute Pharmacotherapy
Chronic Pharmacotherapy in HFpEF
Chronic Pharmacotherapy in HFrEF
ACE Inhibitors
Angiotensin receptor blockers
Aldosterone Antagonists
Beta Blockers
Ca Channel Blockers
Positive Inotropics
Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitor
Antiarrhythmic Drugs
Nutritional Supplements
Hormonal Therapies
Drugs to Avoid
Drug Interactions
Treatment of underlying causes
Associated conditions

Exercise Training

Surgical Therapy:

Biventricular Pacing or Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)
Implantation of Intracardiac Defibrillator
Cardiac Surgery
Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs)
Cardiac Transplantation

ACC/AHA Guideline Recommendations

Initial and Serial Evaluation of the HF Patient
Hospitalized Patient
Patients With a Prior MI
Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention
Surgical/Percutaneous/Transcather Interventional Treatments of HF
Patients at high risk for developing heart failure (Stage A)
Patients with cardiac structural abnormalities or remodeling who have not developed heart failure symptoms (Stage B)
Patients with current or prior symptoms of heart failure (Stage C)
Patients with refractory end-stage heart failure (Stage D)
Coordinating Care for Patients With Chronic HF
Quality Metrics/Performance Measures

Implementation of Practice Guidelines

Congestive heart failure end-of-life considerations

Specific Groups:

Special Populations
Patients who have concomitant disorders
Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the Patient with CHF
NSTEMI with Heart Failure and Cardiogenic Shock

Congestive heart failure laboratory tests On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Congestive heart failure laboratory tests

CDC on Congestive heart failure laboratory tests

Congestive heart failure laboratory tests in the news

Blogs on Congestive heart failure laboratory tests

Directions to Hospitals Treating Congestive heart failure laboratory tests

Risk calculators and risk factors for Congestive heart failure laboratory tests

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan, M.B.B.S. [2]; Seyedmahdi Pahlavani, M.D. [3]; Tarek Nafee, M.D. [4]; Edzel Lorraine Co, DMD, MD[5]


Once the diagnosis of heart failure is made, subsequent laboratory studies should be directed toward the identification of an underlying cause of heart failure.

Laboratory Tests

Renal Function

Renal function should be assessed as a rough guide to the patient's intravascular volume status and renal perfusion. A urinalysis is helpful in the assessment of the patient's volume status. Electrolyte assessment and the correction of electrolyte disturbances such as hypokalemia, hyperkalemia and hypomagnesemia is critical in those patients treated with diuretics. Hyponatremia (due to poor stimulation of the baroreceptors and appropriate ADH release and free water retention) is associated with a poor prognosis.

Hematologic Studies

A complete blood count should be obtained to assess for the presence of anemia which may exacerbate heart failure and to assess the patients coagulation status which may be impaired due to hepatic congestion.

Thyroid Studies

The assessment of thyroid function tests is particularly important in the patient who is being treated with concomitant therapy with an agent such as amiodarone.


Biomarkers are going to play a great role in diagnosis of heart failure.

Natriuretic Peptides: BNP or NT-proBNP

The CoDE-HF decision support tool may help diagnose heart failure[2]. The CoDE-HF interprets the N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in various settings including obesity.

Causes of elevated concentrations of natriuretic peptides

Heart failure
Pulmonary embolism
Left ventricular hypertrophy
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy
Valvular heart disease
Congenital heart disease
Atrial tachyarrhythmia , ventricular tachyarrhythmias
Heart contusion
Cardioversion, ICD shock
Surgical procedures involving the heart
Pulmonary hypertension

Non-Cardiac :

❑ Advanced age
Ischaemic stroke
Subarachnoid haemorrhage
Renal dysfunction
Liver dysfunction (mainly liver cirrhosis with ascites)
Paraneoplastic syndrome
❑Severe infections (including pneumonia and sepsis)
❑Severe burns
❑Severe metabolic and hormone abnormalities (thyrotoxicosis, diabetic ketosis)

The above table adopted from 2021 ESC Guideline


Biomarkers indications for use

Abbreviations: ACC: American College of Cardiology, AHA: American Heart Association, ADHF: acute decompensated heart failure, BNP: B-type natriuretic peptide, COR: Class of Recommendation, ED: emergency department, HF: heart failure, NT-proBNP: N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, NYHA: New York Heart Association, pts: patients

(*)Other biomarkers of injury or fibrosis include soluble ST2 receptor, galectin-3, and high-sensitivity troponin.

Biomarkers of Myocardial Injury: Cardiac Troponin T or I

Even without obvious myocardial ischemic injury, troponin level may be increased in heart failure which means undergoing myocyte injury.[12] Elevated levels of troponin is associated with impaired hemodynamics, progressive LV dysfunction and increased mortality rates.[13]

Carbohydrate Antigen 125

CA-125 is an emerging, highly sensitive biomarker for heart failure.[14] Although it is not yet used in clinical practice, the CHANCE-HF trial has demonstrated utility in using CA-125 to guide diuretic therapy and for determining short-term prognosis.[15] CA-125 is a non-specific antigen that is most strongly associated with ovarian cancer. In patients with acute heart failure, ambulatory follow-up care aimed at titrating diuretic use according to CA-125 levels has demonstrated ~50% reduction in rehospitalizations.[15] CA-125 was first associated with heart failure in 1999 by Nagele et al.[14][16]

Initial lab tests for evaluation of HFrEF

2022 AHA/ACC/HFSA Heart Failure Guideline (DO NOT EDIT) [17]

Initial Laboratory and Electrocardiographic Testing (DO NOT EDIT) [17]

Class I
"1. For patients presenting with HF, the specific cause of HF should be explored using additional laboratory testing for appropriate management. [18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25] (Level of Evidence: B-NR) "
"2. For patients who are diagnosed with HF, laboratory evaluation should include complete blood count, urinalysis, serum electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, glucose, lipid profile, liver function tests, iron studies, and thyroid-stimulating hormone to optimize management. (Level of Evidence: C-EO) "
"3. For all patients presenting with HF, a 12-lead ECG should be performed at the initial encounter to optimize management. (Level of Evidence: C-EO) "

Use of Biomarkers for Prevention, Initial Diagnosis, and Risk Stratification (DO NOT EDIT) [17]

Class I
"1. In patients presenting with dyspnea, measurement of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) or N-terminal prohormone of B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is useful to support a diagnosis or exclusion of HF. [26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37] (Level of Evidence: A) "
"2.In patients with chronic HF, measurements of BNP or NT-proBNP levels are recommended for risk stratification. [36][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54] (Level of Evidence: A) "
"3. In patients hospitalized for HF, measurement of BNP or NT-proBNP levels at admission is recommended to establish prognosis. [36][38][39][40][41][42][43][44] (Level of Evidence: A) "
Class IIa
"4. In patients at risk of developing HF, BNP or NT-proBNP-based screening followed by team-based care, including a cardiovascular specialist, can be useful to prevent the development of LV dysfunction or new-onset HF. [55][56] (Level of Evidence: B-R) "
"5.In patients hospitalized for HF, a predischarge BNP or NT-proBNP level can be useful to inform the trajectory of the patient and establish a postdischarge prognosis. [39][42][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54] (Level of Evidence: B-NR) "

External Links


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