Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) is a blood test to measure the amount of the hormone B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) produced in your blood. The BNP hormone is produced by your heart and indicates how healthy your heart is working.
The lower your BNP levels, the better your heart’s condition. Meanwhile, higher levels of BNP may indicate a risk of heart failure.
When you have heart failure, your heart will produce two types of protein, namely:
- B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP).
- N-terminal-pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP).
Only a small amount of BNP can be found in your blood. However, if your heart works twice harder than usual over a long period of time — it will produce more BNP. BNP levels may decrease when treatment for your heart disease works well.
A Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) test is required to measure the BNP levels in your blood. BNP levels will rise during heart failure and drop when your heart condition improves.
According to WebMD, BNP tests help indicate heart failure more easily by 80%.
When to Get BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide)?
BNP can be done in certain situations, such as:
- When you have symptoms of heart failure.
- When your doctor examines the side-effects of your heart failure treatment. BNP levels will drop if you have a successful treatment
- When you are in a critical condition or have symptoms of heart failure, your doctor will diagnose if you have a heart failure or other diseases through BNP.
Purposes of BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide)
The amount of BNP in your blood helps doctors identify if you are at risk for heart failure or something similar to a symptom of heart failure, such as shortness of breath.
Your BNP test results will show whether your heart failure condition worsens or improves. Your doctor will be able to suggest the type of treatment for you.
Your doctor can also evaluate your heart failure condition while monitoring whether your medications are working well or not. This will help your doctor predict what may happen in the future and determine the next treatment for your condition.
Cost Estimation for BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide)
The cost for BNP procedure may vary — depending on your choice of hospital, laboratory, or other health service providers
For more details regarding the cost estimation for Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) procedure, contact Smarter Health.
Pre-BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide)
First, you should consult your doctor regarding your condition. Then, your doctor can identify the possibility of certain diseases, including heart failure. If your doctor suspects heart failure, a BNP test may be recommended to find out the levels of BNP in your blood.
Before the procedure, make sure you tell your doctor about any medications that you are taking. Certain medicines can affect the BNP results of the BNP later.
Your doctor may ask you not to eat and drink anything except mineral water 8 to 12 hours before the procedure. Follow your doctor’s instructions until the test is complete. You should also ask about any possible side effects after the procedure.
During BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide)
During the procedure, your doctor will take a blood sample from your vein. Then, the blood will be transferred into a machine that can detect the levels of BNP or NT-pro-BNP in your blood.
You may feel slight pain or stinging sensation when the needle is injected into your vein. You may also experience throbbing, and even a light bruiser — which may disappear overtime — at the puncture site.
In general, the BNP procedure is performed in an emergency room or hospital. You may receive your test result within 15 minutes. However, in some service providers, blood samples will be sent to the laboratory for further examination.
Post-BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide)
Similar to other blood test procedures, you may immediately return to normal activities after the BNP test.
In general, you can get your BNP results immediately. Your doctor will check your test results and see if your current health condition has symptoms of heart failure or not.
Your doctor’s diagnosis of heart failure can be based on your blood BNP levels and other symptoms. You should not hesitate to ask questions regarding your BNP test results to get a better understanding.
Understanding Your BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide) Results
The levels of BNP in your blood may increase due to worsening heart failure, but they can also increase as you age. BNP testing is one of the most effective ways to find out how well your heart failure treatment is working.
Every laboratory has different normal values. Here are some important things that you should know to be able to understand your BNP test results, namely:
- BNP levels of <100 pg / mL indicate no indication of heart failure.
- BNP levels of 100-300 pg / ML indicate an indication of heart failure.
- BNP levels of 300 pg / mL indicate a mild heart failure indication.
- BNP levels of >600 pg / ML indicate an indication of moderate heart failure.
- BNP levels of > 900 pg / ML indicates severe heart failure.
You may be wondering what a high BNP value means. A high BNP value in the blood indicates:
- The increased amount of fluid or high pressure in your heart.
- High BNP levels show the severity of your heart failure
- Risk of premature heart failure in someone on dialysis (impaired kidney function).
- Death risks of heart failure patients if the BNP level in the blood is higher than 900 pg / ML.
Risks of BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide)
Although it is very rare, BNP also has a risk of side effects that you should watch out for. As with any blood tests, the side effects of BNP are relatively mild, such as:
- Headache or lightheadedness
- Hematoma (blood collects and pools under the skin).
- Infection — may occur if there is a potential error blood sample test
Since you are asked not to eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours before the test, it is common to experience headache or even fainting.