Elevated Levels and Normal Values of Beta Natriuretic Peptide Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The heart is the main pumping organ that is responsible for the functioning of the blood circulation system. The heart is made up of special muscle cells that are designed to pump without fatigue throughout the life of the individual. The heart has four chambers that receive and pump blood around the body. During periods of rest, the heart functions slowly as the body needs very few nutrients and small quantities of oxygen. When the body is under stress, the heart pumps quickly, enabling the flow of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. The heart may also have to work hard if a part of it has failed because of heart disease.

What is Beta Natriuretic Peptide?

Beta natriuretic peptide is a substance that is released by the heart. Beta natriuretic peptide is found in the blood in fairly small quantities under normal circumstances. One may find higher quantities of beta natriuretic peptide in people who have been under physical strain such as athletes or sports persons immediately after they have been exerting themselves.

Interpretation of Elevated Beta Natriuretic Peptide Levels

An elevated beta natriuretic peptide level could be an indicator of heart failure. One may therefore also use the beta natriuretic peptide level as an indicator of the stage of recovery from heart failure once the treatment has commenced. It should be noted that heart failure in this case does not mean complete failure of the heart. The heart will continue pumping blood, but will do so in a less efficient manner. The individual will therefore feel fatigued and may be dizzy as well. Patients suffering from this form of heart failure will probably experience pain in their chest as well.

Beta Natriuretic Peptide Test and Values

The beta natriuretic peptide test is conducted as a standard blood test. The sample of blood collected is then subjected to the beta natriuretic peptide test in a laboratory. This medical test is a quantitative test where the actual quantity of beta natriuretic peptide is checked. The beta natriuretic peptide test is used as a marker for heart disease. It may be used along with other such tests. Once treatment has commenced for this problem, the beta natriuretic peptide values may be checked regularly to ensure that there is recovery taking place. If the beta natriuretic peptide level does not drop after treatment, then it is a sign that the heart muscles are continuing to be damaged. However, in most cases, treatment is successful at reducing the beta natriuretic peptide level back to normal by helping the heart recover from its failure. It is necessary to maintain the beta natriuretic peptide normal value in order to avoid heart conditions that could prove fatal.