What is the role of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) measurement in the diagnosis of cor pulmonale?

Updated: Dec 15, 2017
  • Author: Derek Leong, MD; Chief Editor: Henry H Ooi, MD, MRCPI  more...
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Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a peptide hormone that is released in response to volume expansion and the increased wall stress of cardiac myocytes. BNP helps to promote diuresis, natriuresis, vasodilation of the systemic and pulmonary vasculature, and reduction of circulating levels of endothelin and aldosterone. As a result, both congestive heart failure due to left ventricular (LV) failure and cor pulmonale due to noncardiac pulmonary hypertension can lead to elevations in plasma BNP. Although not specific, severe acute decompensated LV heart failure can result in higher levels of BNP.

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