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BNP Test (B-Type Natriuretic Peptide)

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About Our BNP Test (B-Type Natriuretic Peptide)

B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) is a protein secreted by the heart as a response to excessive stretching of the heart's muscle cells. This test measures levels of BNP to diagnosis heart failure and to determine its severity. BNP is secreted in response to changes in pressure that occur when heart failure develops and worsens.

More information about BNP: BNP levels are increased in congestive heart failure, left ventricular hypertrophy, acute myocardial infarction, coronary angioplasty, and hypertension. Elevations are also observed in pulmonary hypertension (indicating right ventricular dysfunction), acute lung injury, hypervolemic states, chronic renal failure and cirrhosis. Decreasing levels indicate therapeutic response to anti-hypertensive therapy.

The level of BNP in the blood increases when heart failure symptoms worsen, and decreases when the heart failure condition is stable. The BNP level in a person with heart failure -- even someone whose condition is stable -- may be higher than in a person with normal heart function.

Symptoms associated with heart failure can include:

  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen

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