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B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)

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The B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) blood test measures the level of BNP, an amino acid polypeptide secreted by the heart.  BNP is produced by the ventricles in response to excessive stretching of heart muscle cells.  The BNP blood test is used to help diagnose heart failure and to determine the severity of that heart failure.  The level of BNP in the blood increases when heart failure worsens and decreases when the condition improves.  
A periodic BNP blood test will allow you to know when your heart is pumping correctly and give you insight into your heart health.  The BNP blood test can also help a physician make decisions regarding medical treatment and future prognosis for congestive heart failure .