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ANP vs. BNP: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 7, 2024
ANP (Atrial Natriuretic Peptide) is a hormone regulating blood pressure and fluid balance, while BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide) primarily indicates heart stress and is used to diagnose heart failure.

Key Differences

ANP is a hormone produced by the atria of the heart, playing a crucial role in reducing blood pressure and controlling fluid balance. BNP, however, is mainly released from the ventricles and is a biomarker for cardiac stress and heart failure diagnosis.
The primary function of ANP is to lower blood volume and pressure by increasing sodium and water excretion. In contrast, BNP is elevated in patients with congestive heart failure, as it responds to excessive stretching of heart muscle.
ANP achieves its effects by dilating blood vessels and inhibiting the release of stress hormones like adrenaline. BNP, meanwhile, is used clinically to guide heart failure treatment, as its levels correlate with the severity of the condition.
Both ANP and BNP are part of the body's response to heart and circulatory system stress but differ in their specific roles and production sites. ANP is more involved in everyday regulation of blood pressure, whereas BNP serves as a critical indicator of acute cardiac distress.
In medical practice, ANP levels are less commonly measured than BNP levels, which are a routine part of heart failure evaluation and management.

Comparison Chart

Production Site

Produced in the atria of the heart.
Mainly released from the ventricles.

Primary Function

Regulates blood pressure and fluid balance.
Indicates heart stress and aids in heart failure diagnosis.

Role in Body

Lowers blood volume and pressure, increases sodium and water excretion.
Responds to ventricular expansion, guides heart failure treatment.

Clinical Use

Less commonly measured in clinical settings.
Routinely measured in diagnosing and managing heart failure.

Effect Mechanism

Dilates blood vessels, inhibits stress hormones.
Elevated in response to heart muscle stretching.

ANP and BNP Definitions


ANP is involved in reducing blood volume.
The body releases ANP to counteract fluid retention.


BNP helps diagnose and manage cardiac conditions.
Doctors use BNP tests to monitor heart failure treatment.


ANP is a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure.
Elevated ANP levels can indicate a drop in blood pressure.


BNP assists in regulating blood pressure and fluid balance.
BNP works alongside other hormones to manage circulatory stress.


ANP aids in balancing electrolytes in the body.
ANP promotes sodium excretion to maintain electrolyte balance.


BNP is crucial in evaluating acute heart diseases.
Emergency departments test BNP levels in suspected heart failure cases.


ANP counteracts the effects of stress hormones.
ANP can mitigate the body's response to high adrenaline levels.


BNP levels rise in response to ventricular pressure.
Elevated BNP can suggest increased cardiac workload.


ANP functions as a natural diuretic in the body.
ANP increases urine production to decrease blood volume.


BNP is a marker for heart stress and function.
High BNP levels often indicate heart failure.


What does ANP stand for?

ANP stands for Atrial Natriuretic Peptide.

How is BNP used in medicine?

BNP is used to diagnose and manage heart failure.

What is the significance of BNP?

BNP is a marker for heart stress and function.

Is BNP always related to heart issues?

High BNP levels are primarily associated with heart problems.

How does ANP affect blood pressure?

ANP lowers blood pressure by increasing diuresis and vasodilation.

What does ANP do in the body?

ANP regulates blood pressure and fluid balance.

Can BNP levels fluctuate with exercise?

BNP levels can increase temporarily with intense exercise.

Where is ANP produced?

ANP is produced in the atria of the heart.

Can ANP levels be tested?

Yes, but ANP tests are less common than BNP tests.

Can ANP help treat heart conditions?

ANP's role is more in regulation than direct treatment.

Is BNP testing quick?

Yes, BNP tests can provide rapid results in clinical settings.

Does ANP have a diuretic effect?

Yes, ANP increases urine production and sodium excretion.

Does ANP affect kidney function?

Yes, ANP influences kidney function and fluid excretion.

Is ANP involved in heart disease?

ANP plays a role in regulating factors that can affect heart health.

What conditions cause elevated BNP levels?

Conditions like heart failure and cardiac stress raise BNP levels.

What triggers ANP release?

ANP is released in response to atrial stretching and pressure.

Can dehydration affect BNP levels?

Dehydration can impact BNP readings, usually lowering them.

Can BNP be used to predict heart attacks?

Elevated BNP levels can indicate increased risk of cardiac events.

What does a high BNP level indicate?

A high BNP level often indicates heart failure or strain.

Are BNP levels age-dependent?

BNP levels can increase with age and in certain heart conditions.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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