Brain Natriuretic Peptide Test measures the levels of Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) hormone in the blood.
What is Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)?
BNP is a hormone produced by the heart to regulate blood pressure and fluid balance. This hormone helps the blood to easily pass through the veins and arteries by dilating them. It also helps the kidneys to remove excess fluid and salt from the body. Normally, the blood contains a small amount of BNP. When the heart is not able to pump blood properly, it affects the pressure and fluid balance throughout the body. In order to control the blood pressure and to balance fluid levels, heart cells produce more BNP. Therefore, BNP is a biomarker to assess the function of the heart is proper or not.
Why this test is performed?
This test is one among many tests used to detect, evaluate and diagnose congestive heart failure (CHF). Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you have symptoms of heart failure such as shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, high or irregular heart rate, nausea, loss of appetite, severe cough, weakness, or inability to concentrate etc. You may be advised to undergo this test if you have a family history of heart failure.
If you have a family history of heart failure, your doctor may ask you to perform this test on a 6-monthly basis or a yearly basis. Patients with congestive heart failure should perform this test on a regular basis, as instructed by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your BNP. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for BNP.
No specific preparation is required for this test. Your doctor may recommend taking someone along with you for the test because sometimes you may faint or feel weak after the test.
If the test result falls in the normal reference range generally no medical intervention is necessary.
High levels of BNP in the blood may indicate congestive heart failure. Increased levels of BNP may occur due to right heart failure with cor pulmonale, pulmonary hypertension, acute pulmonary embolism, and fluid imbalance. Individuals with kidney disease may also show high levels of BNP due to decreased clearance. As age increase, naturally, the levels of BNP also tend to be high. Exercise and stress may also raise the BNP levels in the blood.
Decreased levels of BNP in individuals with congestive heart failure receiving treatment, depicts a response to treatment. Individuals on medications such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta blockers, and diuretics will have low levels of BNP in blood.
If you have higher or lower than normal levels of BNP, consult your doctor for further instructions. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.
|UNISEX||All age groups||100 - 300pg/ml suggests heart failure is present|