Forums » Internal Medicine - Small Animal

NT-proBNP - Differentiating Causes for Respiratory Distress

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    • 26 posts
    March 25, 2015 11:40 AM EDT

    The various heart disease conditions seen in dogs (and their relative incidence) include: chronic valvular heart disease (70%), heartworm disease (13%), dilated cardiomyopathy (8%), pericardial disease (5%), and congenital disease (4%). 

    The components for establishing a diagnosis and characterizing the severity of disease (valvular heart disease, in particular), and for determining therapeutic options for the patient, include the following:

    • Signalment
    • History
    • Physical exam findings
    • Thoracic radiographs
    • Electrocardiography
    • Echocardiography

    Matthew Miller, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology) presented a great review on the topic of Valvular Heart Disease (available for on demand viewing).
    NT-proBNP is a natriuretic peptide, and an assay for NT-proBNP has been commercially available to the clinician for some time. A second generation canine assay was developed - increasing the limits of normal - so as to, theoretically, increase its accuracy for diagnosing and guiding therapy in patients.
    Here is some background about NT-proBNP - presented by Dr. Matt Miller (prior to development of the second generation assay):

    A recently published paper reports on the utility and specificity of the 2nd generation NT-proBNP ELISA assay for discriminating between cardiac and noncardiac causes for respiratory distress and heart disease severity in dogs. The discussion of those findings is available for viewing on demand in the Evidence Based Updates.