A sensitive radioimmunoassay for atrial natriuretic peptide was used to examine the relation between circulating atrial natriuretic peptide and cardiac filling pressure in normal human subjects, in patients with cardiovascular disease and normal cardiac filling pressure, and in patients with cardiovascular disease and elevated cardiac filling pressure with and without congestive heart failure. The present studies establish a normal range for atrial natriuretic peptide in normal human subjects. These studies also establish that elevated cardiac filling pressure is associated with increased circulating concentrations of atrial natriuretic peptide and that congestive heart failure is not characterized by a deficiency in atrial natriuretic peptide, but with its elevation.

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