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Suffering from anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Will it cause high elevations in BNP test?

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Posted on Tue, 19 Nov 2013
Question: My BNP blood test level was about (184) last year I went to the ER because I was having a lot of pvcs and it scared me. I do some herat issues like lvh. My pro bnp test was 3960 which also scared me very much. I think my test may not have been elevated that high solely because of my heart function. I suffer from extreme anxiety disorder and I had had two significant panic attacks early that morning and several more the following week. The night they took the blood test I was waiting in high anxiety for over 2 hours prior to the test. My heart was pounding and my blood pressure was very high. My blood pressure was 197/90. I have seen it go to 223/123 during a severe panic attack. It went down to 140/70 as it always does when I left the ER. My heart was surely under a lot of stress from the panic attack. I am seeking multiple opinions to see if this type anxiety and stress can cause very high elevations on BNP test.
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Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar (5 days later)
Brief Answer:
Unusual but possible

Detailed Answer:
Dear patient,

It would be unusual to have an acute elevation in BNP levels, but not impossible, in the setting of a hypertensive crisis such as the one you are describing, particularly if it gets to the point of creating backup pressure in the lungs called flash pulmonary edema; mostly in postmenopausal women but also in men, a reversible condition called stress cardiomyopathy can be associated with elevation of BNP levels. Recall also that other factors, such as kidney function, play a role in elevations of BNP. Thus, my best recommendation is to get the anxiety disorder appropriately blunted with maintenance medications so that you don't have recurrent episodes such as the ones described

Yours truly,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Cardiology
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 1198 Questions

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Suffering from anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Will it cause high elevations in BNP test?

Brief Answer:
Unusual but possible

Detailed Answer:
Dear patient,

It would be unusual to have an acute elevation in BNP levels, but not impossible, in the setting of a hypertensive crisis such as the one you are describing, particularly if it gets to the point of creating backup pressure in the lungs called flash pulmonary edema; mostly in postmenopausal women but also in men, a reversible condition called stress cardiomyopathy can be associated with elevation of BNP levels. Recall also that other factors, such as kidney function, play a role in elevations of BNP. Thus, my best recommendation is to get the anxiety disorder appropriately blunted with maintenance medications so that you don't have recurrent episodes such as the ones described

Yours truly,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Cardiology
Mayo Clinic MN