A BNP test helps diagnose congestive heart failure. The concentration of this compound helps assess the probability of a heart failure. The normal range and answers to the most pressing questions concerning BNP are provided in this article.
A BNP test for heart helps diagnose congestive heart failure. The concentration of this compound designates the probability of a heart failure. The normal range and answers to the most pressing questions concerning BNP are provided in this article.
BNP stands for Brain Natriuretic Peptide or b-type natriuretic peptide is produced in the ventricles and at the lower chambers of the heart. The BNP test is performed to measure the level of this chemical compound in the blood. Its levels are very low if the heart is in a healthy state. Its concentration in blood starts rising when the heart becomes weak and is unable to pump blood effectively.
Brain Natriuretic Peptide Test
Shortness of breath, especially on exertion, rapid heartbeat, increased fatigue, edema (accumulation of fluid) are some of the main symptoms of congestive heart failure. These symptoms are also seen in people affected by lung diseases. Performing a simple blood test and measuring the BNP level helps detect whether you are suffering from a heart condition or some other health ailment. A healthy heart beats slowly while pumping blood to body organs. A weak heart has to work harder and beats faster to pump the required quantity of blood. The more the heart labors, more is the production of this substance in the ventricles.
So, if higher levels are detected, then it suggests that the person might be affected by congestive heart failure. Sometimes, in an emergency room, doctors suspect heart failure and in that case they may order an urgent test to know whether the person in crisis is suffering from heart failure or some other health complication. For someone who has already been diagnosed with a heart malady, this test helps evaluate the effect of the treatment administered. The test helps find out whether irregular heartbeat or breathing difficulty is an indication of heart failure.
Results of the BNP Test for Heart
The test procedure is quite simple and similar to any other blood test, so getting the results is admirably quick. BNP is a protein hormone which plays an important role in regulating the circulation. It promotes the dilation of blood vessels and excretion of salt and water through the kidneys. Thus, it helps lower blood pressure and reduces the heart’s workload. It helps reduce stress on the heart. When the heart is under siege, the BNP level increases. Getting a positive result should not be a cause for panic. There are chances that the results are false positive. Moreover, the diagnosis of heart failure can be confirmed only after undergoing other tests like echocardiography. People affected by a kidney disease or those who are taking certain drugs could also have elevated levels. Besides, an increase in levels is noticed with age. So, the test results need to be interpreted carefully.
Normal Range of BNP in Blood
If the value is less than 100 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter), then there is no need to worry. It does not indicate CHF (congestive heart failure). Values greater than 400 pg/mL indicate that there is a 95% chance of having a heart failure. Further testing is required, if the BNP falls in the range of 100 pg/mL to 400 pg/mL. Normal level can be between 0.5 and 30 pg/mL.
Congestive heart failure is fast becoming a cause of serious concern, with more than five million Americans being diagnosed with it, and almost 550,000 new cases being detected each year. Though the name ‘heart failure’ is horrifying, one should keep it in mind that even the final stage of congestive heart failure can be treated. The BNP blood test can certainly help the doctors diagnose this condition and determine the best treatment option.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.