BNP or BMP??

My mother had a blood test this week to check her BNP level. A few weeks ago, she went to the lab to have a BMP done. When I talked to her on the phone tonight, she wanted to know what the difference was between the two tests. Good question since the tests sound so similar but in fact they are quite difference. A BNP is B-type natriutetic peptide, a blood test that helps doctors determine if people with difficulty in breathing, edema, or fatigue have lung or heart disease. An elevated BNP is associated with congestive heart failure (CHF).  A BNP can also be used to track the progress of CHF patients. A BNP that remains elevated suggests that the treatment the patient is receiving for CHF is not effective.

BMP, on the other hand, stands for basic metabolic profile. It is shorthand used by the ordering practitioner to tell the lab that he or she wants a group of tests done.  The BMP includes a glucose, BUN, creatinine, and electrolytes. From these  tests, the doctor gets a good snapshot of the body’s basic chemistry including how the kidney’s and pancreas are working. Decreases or elevations in these tests can mean dehydration, kidney failure, diabetes, hypokalemia (low potassium), hyperkalemia (high potassium), hypoglycemia, hypo/hypernatremia (low or high sodium). Many times there is a relationship between these seven tests therefore it is more helpful to have the results of all seven tests rather than an isolated test.

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