Types and what to expect


Blood tests are an important tool in diagnosing heart failure. Doctors may also use blood tests to monitor treatment progress and check for possible complications.

Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Several conditions, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, can cause heart failure.

Doctors may order blood tests for people suspected of having heart failure.

This article outlines different types of blood tests and what to expect from the procedure. It also discusses results and other diagnostic tests that doctors may use.

A blood test can indicate whether someone is experiencing heart failure and help determine the cause. It can also check the function of other organs in the body. Else blood tests look for different things.

Blood tests to assess the heart measure certain blood proteins, hormones and electrolyte levels. These markers 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 various tests also helps doctors monitor the effects of treatment.

In people with suspected heart failure, doctors may order the following blood tests:

Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)

A BMP is a comprehensive set of tests that can provide insight into a person’s general health. It checks kidney function and measures the levels of glucose, electrolytes, calcium and other natural chemicals in the blood. Learn more about a BMP test.

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP)

A BNP test is a valuable tool in diagnosing heart failure. It measures the amount of BNP in the blood, which indicates how well the heart is functioning. If a test shows a rise in GDP, this may be an early warning sign of heart failure, and doctors will want to investigate further. Learn more about a VIP test.


The body releases the protein troponin when the heart muscle is damaged. Troponin levels are an important indicator of cardiac health. The test helps identify those at risk of developing heart disease and provides a warning sign of impending heart attacks.

A healthcare professional usually performs blood tests in a doctor’s office. This person is often a phlebotomist.

Drawing blood typically involves the following steps:

  • The professional cleans an area of ​​the arm with an antiseptic.
  • They place a tourniquet around the person’s arm to ensure that blood flows to the chosen vein, making access easier.
  • They insert a needle into the vein and collect a small amount of blood into one or more tubes.
  • After removing the needle, they apply pressure to the area before placing a small bandage over the site.

The process usually takes a few minutes. This can sometimes take longer if the healthcare professional cannot easily find a vein. This can happen for various reasons, such as when a person is dehydrated.

Does it hurt?

Typically, people feel a small, sharp prick when the needle enters the skin, but this should not cause much pain. A person who fears needles can notify the healthcare professional, who may offer to numb the area before the test is performed.

People may develop a small bruise over the needle insertion area, but this should resolve on its own over the next few days.

Learn more about blood tests.

Blood test results can be ready the same day or take several days or weeks.

Normal ranges can vary based on age, gender and health status.

In a healthy person, GDP levels are normal less than 100 picograms per milliliter (pg/ml). If a person has a high GDP, doctors usually order more tests to investigate further. GDP levels tend to increase with age and are usually higher in women than in men.

Laboratory results usually show measurements of substances in a person’s blood along the normal range for those substances. If a person’s measurements fall outside the normal range, a doctor will likely order more tests to help with diagnosis.

Learn more about heart failure.

Heart failure is a serious condition where the heart cannot pump blood efficiently around the body.

Doctors use several blood tests to assess heart function, including BNP and BMP. Blood draws are quick, and results are often available within a few days.

Abnormal blood test results may indicate a strain on the heart or other organs, such as the kidneys and liver. Doctors usually order further tests to help with diagnosis.

Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure is essential to reduce the risk of long-term complications.