University of Hertfordshire

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Natriuretic peptides and the dialysis patient

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)409-19
JournalSeminars in Dialysis
Journal publication date30 Sep 2005
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2005


The natriuretic peptide family consists of four structurally similar, but genetically distinct molecules with pronounced cardiovascular and renal actions. They are counterregulatory hormones playing an important role in fluid volume homeostasis. Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) cause diuresis, natriuresis, and vasodilatation. C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) has antimitogenic effects and causes vascular smooth muscle relaxation. Dendroaspis natriuretic peptide (DNP) shares many of the actions of ANP and BNP, but its function in humans is not yet fully understood. Natriuretic peptides have been extensively investigated as biochemical markers of the fluid state. Levels are elevated in disease conditions characterized by fluid overload and are closely related to survival in various cardiac disease states. In the dialysis population, BNP correlates significantly with cardiac function, whereas ANP is sensitive to volume changes during dialysis. However, changes in concentration do not predict achievement of euvolemia, and short half-life, combined with complicated assay techniques, make ANP a less than satisfactory tool for assessing hydration. BNP is a superior prognosticator for risk stratification in dialysis patients, and serial estimations will help in the identification of occult cardiac disease.

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