Cardiac overload is associated with an overexpression of the atrial natriuretic-f actor (ANF) gene in experimental models and in man. Sites of ANF gene overexpression are the atria but also the ventricular myocardium. This recruitment phenomenon of the ventricle to synthesise and secrete ANF is directly dependent on the increase in stressstretch relationship in each cardiocyte. Therefore, the levels of plasma ANF and its second messenger, cyclic glycophosphate mutase in plasma and urine appear as markers of congestive heart failure in animal models and in man. Particularly, plasma ANF has been recognized recently as independent prognostic factor in congestive heart failure.