Why this test?
Heart failure can occur for various reasons. It is most often manifested by legs swelling, shortness of breath, fatigue.
To confirm the diagnosis, ultrasound of the heart - echocardiography is necessary.
However, it often happens that it is difficult to make a diagnosis due to the similarity of symptoms with other diseases. NT-proBNP is used to distinguish heart failure from, for example, lung disease. It is extremely important to make an accurate diagnosis, as heart failure is easily treatable.
In addition, the level of NT-proBNP can be used to judge the severity of heart failure, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of its treatment.
In what cases is it prescribed?
If heart failure is suspected.
With acute pain caused by coronary heart disease (determination of NT-proBNP allows to assess the degree of risk of possible complications).
When monitoring the effectiveness of heart failure treatment.
NT-proBNP is a precursor of brain natriuretic peptide (MNP).
The heart normally produces small amounts of proBNP protein, which is cleaved to form an active hormone - brain natriuretic peptide (MNP or BNP) - and an inactive fragment - N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). The function of the MNP is to regulate the volume of blood circulating in the body and, accordingly, the force that the heart must exert to pump this blood around the body.
MNP and NT-proBNP are mainly formed only in the left ventricle of the heart - it is the strongest «chamber» that performs the greatest work of «pumping» blood. If fluid is retained in the body, the left ventricle works with a greater load and its walls are stretched. As a result, the concentration of MNP and NT-proBNP in the blood increases significantly, which leads to increased excretion of sodium, along with excess fluid. Most often, such changes occur with heart failure.