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Int J Cardiol. 2004 Feb;93(2-3):121-30.

Effect of exercise on natriuretic peptides in plasma and urine in chronic heart failure.

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Department of Medicine, Holstebro Hospital, DK-7500 Holstebro, Denmark.



Plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) are elevated in chronic heart failure (CHF). ANP is known to be increased during exercise in healthy subjects and CHF, while the response in BNP during exercise is less clear and does not exist in C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) and aquaporin-2 (AQP2) in either healthy subjects or CHF.


Eleven patients with CHF and eleven healthy subjects performed a maximal aerobic exercise test. ANP and BNP in plasma were determined every 3 min and at maximum exercise by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and CNP and AQP2 in urine were determined before and after the exercise test by RIA.


The absolute increase in BNP during exercise was higher in patients with CHF (CHF: 4.1 pmol/l; healthy subjects: 1.3 pmol/l, P<0.05) and was positively correlated to BNP at rest (P<0.05), while the absolute increase in ANP during exercise was the same in the two groups (CHF: 4.2 pmol/l; healthy subjects: 6.8 pmol/l, not significant, NS). In CHF, exercise did not change either u-CNP excretion (rest: 9.8 ng/mmol creatinine; after exercise: 8.8 ng/mmol, NS) or u-AQP2 (rest: 466 ng/mmol creatinine; after exercise: 517 ng/mmol creatinine, NS) as well as in healthy subjects where u-CNP (rest: 9.7 ng/mmol creatinine; after exercise: 9.2 ng/mmol creatinine) and u-AQP2 (rest: 283 ng/mmol creatinine; after exercise: 307 ng/mmol creatinine) were the same at rest and after exercise.


The absolute increase in BNP during exercise is higher in patients with CHF compared to healthy subjects. It is suggested that this is a compensatory phenomenon to improve the exercise capacity in CHF, and that BNP is a more important factor in cardiovascular homeostasis during exercise in CHF than ANP.

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