Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)

Brain Natriuretic Peptide is secreted by the heart ventricles following excessive stretching of cardiomyocytes (or heart muscle cells). The physiologic effects of brain natriuretic peptide include lower systemic vascular resistance and increase in natriuresis. As a result, there will be a decrease in blood volume lowering systemic blood pressure.

Brain Natriuretic Peptide hormone in our blood can be measured by brain natriuretic peptide test (sometimes referred to as BNP test). This hormone is produced by our heart and demonstrates heart performance. Only low amount of BNP is typically found in our blood but when the heart is working harder more BNP will be released into the blood.  

BNP in Diagnostics: Normal level of brain natriuretic peptide allows excluding acute heart failure in the case of emergency. Thus, BNP test (see below) can be used to screen heart failure or identify patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Patients with CHF will typically have BNP valued in excess of 100 pg/ml. Positive levels of the test are usually associated with value of 500 pg/ml or more. Brain Natriuretic Peptide was shown to be important in prognostication of heart surgery patients and diabetics. Typically, after heart failure the heart produces more Brain Natriuretic Peptide which may drop again back to normal if failure treatment is successful.

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