Which lab tests are performed to differentiate other diseases from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019
  • Author: Paul Kleinschmidt, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Human BNP binds to particulate guanylate cyclase receptors of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Binding to the receptors causes an increase in cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP), which serves as a secondary messenger to dilate veins and arteries. By measuring the BNP level, it was thought that the ability to differentiate between CHF and COPD exacerbations in blue bloaters would have become much easier. However, clinical observation and research has demonstrated that, in the cases of mild CHF exacerbations, the ability to differentiate between CHF and COPD is still not straightforward. A mild elevation of a BNP level still must be taken in context with the overall clinical picture.


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