Blood tests are an important tool in diagnosing heart failure. Doctors may also use blood tests to monitor treatment progress and check for potential complications.
Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. A variety of conditions, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, can lead to heart failure.
Doctors may order blood tests in people with suspected heart failure.
This article provides an overview of the different types of blood tests and what to expect from the procedure. It also discusses the results and other diagnostic tests your doctor may use.
Blood tests can indicate whether someone is experiencing heart failure and help determine the cause. It can also check how other organs in the body are functioning.
Blood tests to evaluate the heart measure levels of certain blood proteins, hormones, and electrolytes. These marks can indicate whether the heart is functioning properly.
Doctors use the results of these blood tests to determine the best course of treatment. Comparing the results of multiple tests also helps doctors monitor the effects of treatment.
In people with suspected heart failure, a doctor may order the following blood tests:
Basal Metabolome (BMP)
A sort of
B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP)
The BNP test is an important tool in diagnosing heart failure. It measures the amount of BNP in the blood, which indicates how well the heart is working. If the test shows elevated BNP, this could be an early warning sign of heart failure and further investigation by the doctor is warranted. Learn more about the BNP test.
When heart muscle is damaged, the body releases the protein troponin. Troponin levels are an important indicator of heart health. The test helps identify those at risk of heart disease and provides warning signs of an impending cardiac event.
Health care professionals usually perform blood tests in a doctor’s office. This person is usually the phlebotomist.
A blood draw usually involves the following steps:
- A professional cleans an area of the arm with a disinfectant.
- They place a tourniquet around the patient’s arm to ensure blood flow to selected veins for easier access.
- They insert a needle into a vein and collect a small amount of blood into one or more test tubes.
- After the needle is removed, they apply pressure to the area and then place a small bandage over the area.
This process usually takes a few minutes. Sometimes it may take longer if a healthcare professional cannot find the vein easily. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as when a person becomes dehydrated.
Does it hurt?
Usually, people feel a small, sharp sting when the needle enters the skin, but it doesn’t cause much pain. People who are afraid of needles may wish to notify a healthcare professional, who may offer to numb the area before having the test done.
People may experience small bruises where the needle was inserted, but this should clear up on its own within the next few days.
Learn more about blood tests.
Blood test results may be available the same day or within days or weeks.
Normal ranges may vary based on age, sex, and health status.
In healthy people, BNP levels are usually
Lab results usually show measurements of substances in a person’s blood and normal ranges for those substances. If a person’s measurements are outside the normal range, the doctor may order more tests to help with the diagnosis.
Learn more about heart failure.
Heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart cannot pump blood effectively throughout the body.
Doctors use several blood tests to assess heart function, including BNP and BMP. The blood draw is quick, with results usually available within a few days.
Abnormal blood test results may indicate stress in the heart or other organs, such as the kidneys and liver. Doctors usually order further tests to help with the diagnosis.
Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure is critical to reducing the risk of long-term complications.