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New tests provide new insight into why patients are in heart failure
Date:3/31/2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. A failing heart makes a lot of a hormone needed to eliminate the excess salt and water bloating the body but not enough of the enzyme needed to activate it, researchers say.

Using novel assays they developed, Medical College of Georgia researchers found people in heart failure have less of the enzyme corin needed to activate pro-ANP, or pro-atrial natriuretic peptide, a hormone made by heart muscle cells that, when active, helps reduce extra sodium and fluid that tax the cardiovascular system.

Low corin levels help explain why the heart's natural attempt to save itself is often thwarted in heart failure and researchers hope the new tests they developed can help identify those people.

"The question is always: If you have so much of this hormone that is supposed to increase diuresis, why are patients still in heart failure with all this fluid in their lungs?" says Dr. Uzoma Ibebuogu, cardiology fellow at the Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. Ibebuogu presented the findings at the American College of Cardiology Congress March 28-31 in Orlando where he was among five finalists for the Young Investigator Award.

When he and colleagues Drs. Guy Reed and Inna Gladysheva compared 14 patients in heart failure to 16 people with healthy hearts, they found those in heart failure had about 80 percent less corin. Their assays enabled measurement of corin as well as active ANP levels instead of only the total pro-ANP levels measured by current technology.

Their findings indicate that low corin levels may be an indicator of heart failure or even people at risk for the condition diagnosed in more than a half million Americans annually, says Dr. Gladysheva, cardiovascular researcher in the MCG School of Medicine.

Heart failure is becoming increasingly common as people survive heart attacks but live with heart muscles that are too weak to contract and/or relax properly. Blood comes into the right sid
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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