Why is BNP elevated?
BNP is also known as Brain Natriuretic Peptide. Secreted by the ventricles of the heart, the brian natriuretic peptide can also be called B-type natriuretic peptide or GC-B. This peptide is composed of 32 amino acid chains that are responsive when heart muscles are excessively stretched. Although its name may cause confusion that this peptide comes from the brain, BNP actually come the ventricles of the heart. It was only named as brain natriuretic peptide because it was emanated from extracts of pig or porcine brain. However, in humans, it is released primarily from the heart. Formed from the synthesis of myocytes, BNP is released when the myocardial experiences stress which may adequately reflect dysfunction of the left ventricles and may indicate volume overload. Excreted primarily in the kidneys, BNP was found to have short half life indicating shorter significant changes in one’s hemodynamic status which is approximated to about two hours compared to its counterpart.
There are several factors that can contribute to BNP elevation. Although most factors are highly related to organ dysfunction, there are specific cases which can trigger BNP to increase. One most common cause elevated BNP is ventricular dysfunction. When the ventricles are unable to function properly, plasma concentrations of BNP will significantly increase indicating that there are problems with the functioning of the heart. Another reason why BNP is elevated is that the kidneys are not adequately functioning as well. When the kidneys are unable to excrete BNP, it has the tendency to pool, thus, increasing its concentration in the blood. Elevated BNP may also be seen in people who obese. This is so because BNP builds up in the blood without proper excretion.
As one reliable source for diagnosing heart failures, BNP is one crucial element that needs monitoring.