What does an increased Pro-BNP mean

BNP blood counts - high and low levels

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What are the characteristics of the BNP blood count?

In medicine, BNP is a "B-type natriuretic peptide". It is closely related to the "atrial natriuretic peptide" (ANP). The two hormones play a crucial role in controlling blood pressure and the water balance. They form in the muscle cells of the heart, as well as in the adrenal glands and in the brain. An increase in the BNP blood count over 100 ng / l indicates heart damage or kidney, lung and liver disease.

What is the function of a B-type natriuretic peptide?

When the pressure in the heart increases, the heart muscles release the hormone. The pressure increase is caused by very high blood pressure or when there is a lot of blood in the bloodstream. Natriuretic peptides cause an increased excretion of sodium and water from the kidneys. The blood pressure drops and the blood volume decreases. The hormones widen the blood vessels and lower the production of the hormone aldosterone, which also lowers blood pressure.

Acute heart failure affects the body's blood supply. This builds up in the heart. The muscle cells begin to secrete ANP and BNP. Raised BNP blood values ​​a sign of acute heart or kidney weakness. BNP is one of the most important markers in cardiology today, such as the study "Breathing not properly 10 years later: what we have learned and what we still need to learn" by Maisel A.S. and Daniels L.B. shows.


When does the doctor determine the BNP blood level?

If an acute heart failure is suspected, the doctor uses the BNP blood test. On the basis of this, he distinguishes whether shortness of breath is a lung disease or a weak heart. The measurements are also used to monitor therapy in the event of cardiac insufficiency and for the prognosis of patients with pulmonary embolism. Depending on the result, the doctor adjusts the therapy. BNP is also used to monitor the course of pulmonary hypertension.


How does the doctor determine the BNP blood count?

The doctor determines the values ​​in the blood plasma. ANP and BNP are made up of individual amino acids and form chains. The hormones arise from a longer chain of amino acids, a so-called pre-hormone. Splitting creates an ineffective chain of amino acids and an active hormone. The ineffective parts of the chain are called NT-pro BNP NT-pro ANP. They stay in the blood longer than BNP and ANP. The doctor will show them better.


Which BNP blood values ​​are considered normal?

In healthy people, the BNP value is less than 100 pg / ml and the NT-pro BNP value is less than 300 pg / ml. These values ​​largely rule out cardiac insufficiency. There is no clear limit value for the hormone to make a reliable diagnosis. The values ​​are only to be seen in connection with the patient's complaints and other examinations such as X-rays and heart ultrasound.


The following limit values ​​serve as a guide:

  • Heart failure unlikely with a BNP <100 pg / ml, NT-proBNP <400 pg / ml
  • Heart failure possible, diagnosis uncertain with a BNP 100-400 pg / ml, NT-proBNP 400-2000 pg / ml
  • Heart failure likely with a BNP> 400 pg / ml, NT-proBNP> 2000 pg / ml


What are the causes of an increased reading?

  • Heart rhythm disorders,
  • Heart failure,
  • pulmonary hypertension,
  • acute heart attack,
  • Angina pectoris,
  • Pulmonary embolism,
  • Renal failure,
  • Cirrhosis of the liver with fluid in the abdomen
  • Side effect of dialysis

Certain medications such as beta blockers or thyroid hormones also lead to an increase in BNP or NT-pro BNP values. Certain drugs lower levels of natriuretic peptides in the blood, such as ACE inhibitors or furosemide, but are not considered dangerous.


BNP provides information about various heart diseases

BNP or B-Type Natriuretic Peptide is made by the body in the heart chambers. An increase in the BNP blood level above 100 ng / l indicates heart damage as well as kidney, lung and liver diseases. BNP is important for blood pressure and the body's water and sodium balance. It inhibits the release of blood pressure-increasing hormones and has a vasodilatory effect. BNP values ​​of up to 100 ng / l are considered normal, so there are no low values.


As a medical editor, he has been providing information on medical issues in this project since 2012. This article corresponds to the current state of medical knowledge and current medical specialist literature.