Several Forms of B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Found

Impact on commercial assay results needs further study

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Alternate forms of pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (proBNP) and BNP are present in the circulation suggesting that BNP processing is diverse, according to a report in the March 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Further study is needed to determine the impact of these findings on interpreting BNP assay results.

Margaret Redfield, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues used both novel assays and commercial assays to measure BNP levels in patients with normal ventricular function, cardiovascular disease with normal ventricular function, preclinical ventricular dysfunction and chronic heart failure, to determine whether alternate circulating forms of proBNP and BNP exist in the general population.

The investigators found detectable proBNP and BNP in 68 and 22 percent of control subjects, respectively. ProBNP levels correlated with age, gender, body size, renal function and results from the commercial assays, and were elevated in patients with preclinical ventricular dysfunction and heart failure. BNP levels were higher in patients with heart failure but were unrelated to other factors.

"The presence of alternate circulating proBNP and BNP forms provides evidence for diverse proBNP and BNP processing in the general population," the authors write. "The physiologic consequences of these observations, both in terms of assay performance and endogenous BNP bioactivity, deserve further study."

The study was funded in part by Biosite and Roche. Redfield has received research funding from Guidant and Medtronic.

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