A noninvasive biochemical testing method for early detection and monitoring the condition of cardiac complications in hemodialysis (HD) patients would be useful and might lead to improved survival. The aim of this study is to clarify the pathophysiological significance of plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in HD patients with and without coronary artery disease (CAD). We measured plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and BNP levels on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before and after HD in 28 consecutive patients who underwent HD three times weekly. In addition, we measured plasma ANP and BNP levels in 21 HD patients with CAD and 27 HD patients without CAD and studied the relationships between BNP levels and cardiac function and clinical variables. Plasma ANP levels significantly decreased after HD on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and predialysis plasma ANP levels on Monday were significantly greater than those on other days. Plasma BNP levels did not change after HD on Monday; however, they significantly decreased after HD on Wednesday and FRIDAY: Predialysis plasma BNP levels on Monday were greater than those on other days, and postdialysis plasma BNP levels on Monday were greater than predialysis plasma BNP levels on WEDNESDAY: Plasma BNP levels in HD patients with CAD were significantly greater than those in HD patients without CAD and significantly correlated with left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (r = -0.69), end-diastolic volume index (r = 0.59), and end-systolic volume index (r = 0.84) determined by left ventriculography. Conversely, plasma BNP levels in HD patients without CAD significantly correlated with LV mass index (r = 0.54) determined by echocardiography and mean systolic blood pressure (r = 0.72) determined by 48-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. These results suggest the following: (1) plasma BNP levels before and after HD in chronic HD patients directly correlate with the degree of body fluid retention, and the day of the week on which the sample is obtained should be considered for its evaluation; (2) plasma BNP levels reflect LV function in HD patients with CAD; and (3) plasma BNP levels reflect LV mass and blood pressure in HD patients without CAD.