Natriuretic peptides (NPs) secreted by the heart in response to volume overload are pleiotropic molecules with vasodilating, diuretic, natriuretic, antiproliferative, and antifibrotic actions. Functioning of the NP system is altered in congestive heart failure (CHF), suggesting that support of the NP system might be beneficial in treatment of acute and chronic CHF. Several approaches alone or in combination with other pharmacologic therapies have been shown to enhance function of the NP system: direct administration of native and designer NPs, inhibition of degradation of NPs and their second messenger (cyclic guanosine monophosphate [cGMP]), and stimulation of cGMP generation. Despite increasing numbers of studies using NPs in therapy of acute and chronic CHF, several controversies regarding safety, efficacy, and dosing of NPs need to be addressed. Moreover, further research is warranted to identify the stages and etiologies of CHF that may profit from NP therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)