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BNP blood test

The brain natriuretic peptide or BNP blood test measures the level of B-Natriuretic Peptide in your blood. This protein hormone is produced in excess when the heart's ventricles are not functioning properly. When there is heart failure, the ventricles secrete BNP and N-terminal-pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP). Natriuretic peptides promote better blood circulation, urine excretion and heart functioning. Both BNP and NT—Pro BNP are markers of atrial and ventricular distension caused due to raised intra-cardiac pressure.

Typically, the BNP test helps determine if a person is suffering heart failure, when there are symptoms that can be indicative of other conditions too. Blood BNP levels are also indicative of the exercise tolerance and risk of death in a person suffering from CHF (congestive heart failure).

You may need to fast for about 10 hours prior to a BNP blood test. BNP blood test is usually measured by the Triage test and the test usually takes about 15 minutes. The elevated BNP values indicate the severity of the heart condition. While BNP levels below 100 pg/mL indicate no heart failure, BNP levels above 600 pg/mL indicate moderate heart failure. The diagnostic gray area of levels between I00 and 500 pg/mL shows inconclusive result. If BNP levels are above 900 pg/mL, it is indicative of severe heart failure. Medication affects the levels of BNP. BNP values tend to be elevated with increasing age and noticed to be higher in women than men. Conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease or kidney dialysis can alter the BNP blood readings.

MUGA scan

MUGA - Multiple Gated Acquisition scan is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that is used to assess the heart's functioning with moving images. MUGA scan uses a radioactive substance Technetium 99. It is injected to the patient's bloodstream where it is attaches to red blood cells. A gamma camera is used to detect low-level radiation given off by these red blood cells. The MUGA scan helps in determining the condition of the heart and its functioning of the cardiac ventricles.

This nuclear heart scan follows the movement of the technetium through the blood. Images are recorded for later analysis. An important pointer to the cardiac efficiency is the LVEF (Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction). The MUGA scan is preferred over other diagnostic tests such as echocardiogram as it is highly accurate and non-invasive. MUGA scan is also called cardiac blood pool imagine or equilibrium radionuclide angiography. Sometimes stress MUGA scan and rest MUGA scan are taken and analyzed. This is best done under the guidance of a cardiologist. MUGA scan aids in checking a person's heart function after chemotherapy.


Cardiomyopathy refers to deteriorated functioning of the heart muscles. This happens due to thickened or enlarged heart muscles. It is a term that includes many conditions that occur due to damage to the heart ventricles. It can also be indicative of heart failure, arrhythmia and systemic embolization. The symptoms of cardiomyopathy are typical of most heart ailments - shortness of breath, fainting, palpitations, fatigue and chest pain. Swelling may develop in the feet and legs. Fluid might build up in the lungs and abdomen.

ECG will show abnormal results. MRI is often resorted to. Cardiac Catherization might be done to measure pressure in the heart. In most cases, Cardiomyopathy cannot usually be completely cured. Treatment can ease symptoms.

Tags: #BNP blood test #MUGA scan #Cardiomyopathy
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 20, 2024