Do laboratories follow heart failure recommendations and guidelines and did we improve? The CARdiac MArker Guideline Uptake in Europe (CARMAGUE)

Angelika Hammerer-Lercher*, Paul Collinson, Marja P. van Dieijen-Visser, Kari Pulkki, Janne Suvisaari, Jan Ravkilde, Ana Stavljenic-Rukavin, Hannsjorg Baum, Paivi Laitinen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Natriuretic peptides (NP) are well-established markers of heart failure (HF). During the past 5 years, analytical and clinical recommendations for measurement of these biomarkers have been published in guidelines. The aim of this follow-up survey was to investigate how well these guidelines for measurement of NP have been implemented in laboratory practice in Europe. Methods: Member societies of the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine were invited in 2009 to participate in a web-based audit questionnaire. The questionnaire requested information on type of tests performed, decision limits for HF, turn-around time and frequency of testing. Results: There was a moderate increase (12%) of laboratories measuring NP compared to the initial survey in 2006. The most frequently used HF decision limits for B-type NP (BNP) and N-terminal BNP (NT-proBNP) were, respectively, 100 ng/L and 125 ng/L, derived from the package inserts in 55%. Fifty laboratories used a second decision limit. Age or gender dependent decision limits were applied in 10% (8.5% in 2006). The vast majority of laboratories (80%) did not have any criteria regarding frequency of testing, compared to 33% in 2006. Conclusions: The implementation of NP measurement for HF management was a slow process between 2006 and 2009 at a time when guidelines had just been established. The decision limits were derived from package insert information and literature. There was great uncertainty concerning frequency of testing which may reflect the debate about the biological variability which was not published for most of the assays in 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301-1306
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • B-type natriuretic peptide
  • follow-up
  • guideline implementation
  • heart failure
  • natriuretic peptides
  • N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP)

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