What is BNP?
The B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) is a substance produced by the left ventricle of the heart which helps to relax the blood vessels for smooth blood flow. The BNP test measures the levels of the protein BNP in blood.
Why is BNP done?
The B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Test is performed:
· To help in the detection, diagnosis, and evaluation of the severity of congestive heart failure (CHF)
What does BNP Measure?
The B-Type Natriuretic Peptide is a substance secreted by the left ventricle of the heart due to the stretching of the heart chamber during pumping of blood. It helps in the relaxation of blood vessels for smooth blood flow. The heart continuously secretes a precursor substance called pro-BNP which is converted to BNP to maintain a low constant level in blood. In case of a congestive heart failure, the heart works harder to pump blood causing extra pressure in the heart muscles. This leads to an increase in the production of BNP to help stimulate the blood vessels to relax and reduce the pressure on the heart. It may also occur in other conditions affecting the circulatory system like blockages in blood vessels.
The B-Type Natriuretic Peptide was initially named the Brain Type Natriuretic Peptide since it was first detected in the brain tissues. Later, it was renamed to B-Type to distinguish it from Atrial or A-Type Natriuretic Peptide (ANP), which is another substance with similar function also produced in the heart.
Interpreting BNP results
Normal range (Approx.): Below 29.40 pg/mL
Higher than normal levels of BNP indicates heart conditions including CHF. Levels are directly proportional to the severity of the condition.