In the study, researchers at Loyola University Health System found significantly higher levels of the cardiac hormone, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), in the blood of patients with one type of CHF, restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCMP), versus another type of CHF, constrictive pericarditis (CP).
"This is an important discovery because, while the symptoms are similar for both types of heart failure, the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis are very different," said lead author Dr. Fred Leya, professor of medicine/cardiology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; and director, interventional cardiology and director, cardiac catheterization lab, Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill. "By examining the BNP level in congestive heart failure patients, we can quickly determine whether they have RCMP or CP. As a result, we can provide the appropriate treatment much sooner."
Five million people in the U.S. have CHF, where the heart weakens and becomes unable to pump adequate amounts of blood. When blood returning from the body to the heart is not pumped fast enough, it starts to back up into the lungs. CHF symptoms include shortness of breath, swollen legs, swollen liver and fatigue, which could also be signs of other conditions. Some CHF may go undetected for months, even years.
All people have some level of BNP, but the heart muscle releases excessive amounts of the hormone in response to heart failure. Therefore, as expected, CP and RCMP patients had higher l
Contact: Joanne Swanson
Loyola University Health System