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Definition of Natriuretic peptide

Natriuretic peptide: One of the peptides that causes natriuresis, the excretion of an excessively large amount of sodium in the urine. The natriuretic peptides are produced by the heart and vasculature:

  • A-type natriuretic peptide is secreted largely by the atrial myocardium in response to dilatation.
  • B-type natriuretic peptide is manufactured mainly by the ventricular myocardium.
  • C-type natriuretic peptide is produced by endothelial cells that line the blood vessels.

B-type natriuretic peptide is useful in the diagnosis of heart failure. The finding of a low level of B-type natriuretic peptide tends to exclude heart failure.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20994
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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