Brain natriuretic peptide

Our specialist helpline nurse Jayne Partridge discusses brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and why it is used as a measure for heart failure in cardiomyopathy.

Natriuretic peptides are protein molecules which are secreted by the ventricular musculature in response to volume or pressure overload. BNP is a 32 amino acid protein molecule which is generated from the precursor known as pro- BNP in the ventricular musculature.

After a volume or pressure overload pro-BNP is secreted.

The normal actions of the natriuretic peptides are to aid the heart in dealing with volume overload and stretch. The action of BNP leads to improved myocardial relaxation.

BNP measurement is used to check for evidence of heart failure and are used as a diagnostic tool. There are two different types of BNP levels which can be measured BNP and NT Pro-BNP, values for these are quite different.

The levels measured are used to guide clinical treatment and would be evaluated alongside investigations such as echocardiogram and cardiac MRI scan results.

A change in the muscle fibres of the heart is also thought to be part of the reason for elevated levels in some conditions.

This article is taken from an original discussion on our Facebook page (opens new window).
Read this post on Facebook.

© Cardiomyopathy UK. March 2018.