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Role of Bnp (Blood Test) In Cardiovascular Diseases

Published on Dec 13, 2017 and last reviewed on Apr 28, 2022   -  5 min read

Abstract

This article talks about BNP (a protein released by the heart during heart failure and other cardiac problems) and also about the significance of BNP in the treatment of heart conditions.

Contents
Role of Bnp (Blood Test) In Cardiovascular Diseases

What Should You Know About BNP?

BNP (brain natriuretic peptide) is a type of protein that is produced in the heart muscles, initially as pro-BNP. It belongs to a class of hormones known as natriuretic peptides.

These groups of hormones are divided into four, namely ANP, BNP, CNP, and DNP. Each of them is produced in different areas of the circulatory system.

What Is a BNP Test?

In instances of heart failure, two types of proteins are made by the heart. These include B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal-pro BNP. Levels of both these proteins are measured in the BNP test. It holds the significance of determining the occurrence of heart failure in most cases. The levels of these proteins are increased during the event of heart failure and decrease with recovery.

When Is It Advised to Check Your BNP?

1. When there is a suspicion of heart failure due to symptoms such as difficulty breathing and swelling or fluid build-up in the extremities, your doctor might advise you to check your BNP levels.

2. To know the severity of heart failure in patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

3. To check for kidney (renal) failure.

4. To check the effectiveness of treatment in a patient treated for heart failure.

The following symptoms indicate the need for a BNP test:

How Is BNP Checked?

BNP and NT-proBNP are measured using a simple blood test to help diagnose and monitor heart failure. BNP and NT-pro-BNP test results have different values.

How Should We Prepare for the BNP Test?

Since it involves drawing blood, patients in whom the sight of blood can bring about fainting or those who are weak, it is always advisable to have someone accompany the patient to the test as they find driving by themselves or traveling difficult.

It is rather a simple test and does not need much preparation. The stress level has a transient impact on your BNP values. Therefore it is recommended not to stress yourself about the test.

What Is the Normal Value of BNP?

In general, the normal BNP values of women are a bit higher than those of men. BNP values usually increase with age, but they may stay within the normal range unless heart failure is present.

The below table depicts the values of BNP:

BNP 1

The following tables describe the normal value of NT-pro-BNP for age:

BNP 2

Note: The normal range varies from one lab to another, and your lab may have a different range for what is normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Your doctor will evaluate your results based on your age and gender.

What Interpretations Are Obtained From the BNP Test?

From the reports, your doctor can tell you if:

Overall, the result will be determined to be positive or negative by your doctor based on the reason the test was ordered.

What Factors Affect the Level of BNP?

BNP level is decreased in:

It is increased in:

How Accurate Is the BNP Test in Indicating Heart Failure?

The BNP test is very accurate in detecting heart failure. Accuracy is around 98 %. However, factors like stress and exercise may cause a temporary rise in BNP values.

What Risks Are Associated With BNP Tests?

As it is not a complex procedure, it does not bring about serious complications. However, since drawing blood is involved, there may be associated symptoms of venipuncture like:

Since this might bring about lightheadedness, the patient is not advised to drive by themself. Other than this, all the above symptoms are transient and do not bring about serious health concerns.

What Are Additional Tests Performed for Diagnosing Heart Failure?

In addition to the BNP test, the below tests help diagnose heart failure:

Conclusion:

BNP test is a blood test that is a useful means of diagnosing heart failure. Incidences of heart attacks can also be detected in this test. Being a relatively simple blood test, not much preparation is required. If you have been proposed to have a BNP test, it is always advisable to bring an attender with you. The values differ for different laboratories; therefore, to get it interpreted correctly, seeking the help of a physician is a must.

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Last reviewed at:
28 Apr 2022  -  5 min read

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