Previous studies have found that plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is elevated during left ventricular systolic or diastolic dysfunction. It is unclear whether the ventricular systolic and diastolic function is associated with different levels of plasma BNP. Plasma BNP was measured in 149 heart failure patients by a rapid point-of-care assay. The patients were divided into left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (n = 48), left ventricular systolic dysfunction (n = 62) and right ventricular systolic dysfunction group (n = 39). The mean BNP level in the left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, left ventricular systolic dysfunction and right ventricular systolic dysfunction was 115 ± 80 pg/ml, 516 ± 445 pg/ml and 345 ± 184 pg/ml, respectively (p < 0.05). We concluded that ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction increases plasma BNP levels to a different extent. Left and right ventricular systolic dysfunction is associated with a higher level of plasma BNP than left ventricular diastolic dysfunction.