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J Lab Clin Med. 1999 Nov;134(5):437-44.

Review of 10 years of the clinical use of brain natriuretic peptide in cardiology.

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  • 1Service de Médecine Nucléaire, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bordeaux, Hôpital du Haut-Lévêque, Pessac, France.


Ten years ago brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), the second compound of a family of polypeptide hormones named natriuretic peptides was identified. This peptide has great pathophysiologic importance as a stress-induced cardiac hormone secreted from ventricles, and it rises in several cardiac diseases. It promotes natriuresis and diuresis, acts as a vasodilator, and antagonizes the vasoconstrictor effects of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. The measurement of this peptide in blood by immunoassay has shown promise over the past decade in clinical diagnosis and prognosis. Because heart failure is a major health problem worldwide, BNP is proposed as a biochemical marker that might provide a useful screening test to select patients for further cardiac investigations. Such a hormone assay is inexpensive and available. The implications of BNP in diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy will be reviewed.

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