NT-proBNP Reference Intervals in Healthy U.S. Children, Adolescents, and Adults

Scott Mu, Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, Chiadi E. Ndumele, Josef Coresh, Stephen Juraschek, Tammy Brady, John William Mcevoy, Bige Ozkan, Olive Tang, Robert H. Christenson, Elizabeth Selvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a cardiac biomarker used in the clinical management of heart failure. We sought to create updated reference intervals for NT-proBNP for healthy US children, adolescents, and adults. Methods: We identified a population of healthy individuals using the 1999 to 2004 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We measured serum NT-proBNP in 12 346 adults and 15 752 children and adolescents with the Elecsys NT-proBNP assay on the Roche e601 autoanalyzer. We compared 4 methods for reference interval calculation, and presented the final reference intervals using the robust method partitioned by age and sex categories. Results: NT-proBNP values were available for 1949 healthy adults and 5250 healthy children and adolescents. NT-proBNP concentrations in males and females varied according to age, being higher in early childhood, relatively lower in late adolescence, and highest through middle age and older age. Females tended to have higher NT-proBNP concentrations compared to men from late adolescence until middle age. The upper reference limit, or 97.5th percentile, for 50 to 59 year-old men was 225 ng/L (90% CI: 158 to 236), and for 50 to 59 year-old women, 292 ng/L (90% CI: 242 to 348). Conclusions: Among healthy individuals, NT-proBNP concentrations varied greatly according age and sex. The reference intervals presented here should inform future clinical decision limits and suggest that age- and sex-specific intervals may be necessary to more precisely characterize risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-712
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Laboratory Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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