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Keywords:

  • arginine;
  • heart disease;
  • nitrate;
  • nitrite

Abstract

Objective: To determine nitric oxide concentration in cats with hypertrophic or intermediate forms of cardiomyopathy and arterial thromboembolism (ATE) compared to healthy controls and to determine the association between nitric oxide concentration and the presence of ATE, congestive heart failure (CHF), and echocardiographic measurements.

Design: Case–control study.

Setting: Veterinary teaching hospital.

Animals: Client-owned cats with cardiomyopathy, cardiomyopathy and ATE, and normal cats.

Interventions: None.

Measurements: All cats underwent 2-dimensional and M-mode echocardiography. Nitric oxide was assessed indirectly by measuring the concentration of plasma nitrite+nitrate (NN), end products of nitric oxide metabolism. Plasma arginine concentration and dietary arginine content were also assessed since arginine is a precursor for nitric oxide production.

Main results: Twenty-six cats with cardiomyopathy, 26 cats with cardiomyopathy and ATE, and 29 nor-mal cats were enrolled. Compared with healthy controls, median NN concentration was significantly higher in cats with cardiomyopathy and cats with both cardiomyopathy and ATE. There was no difference between cats with cardiomyopathy alone and cats with cardiomyopathy and ATE. Nitrate+ nitrite concen-tration in cats with cardiac disease was unrelated to the presence of CHF, plasma arginine concentration, or dietary arginine content. In cats with cardiac disease, the left atrial diameter, left ven-tricular diameter in diastole, and age were negatively correlated with NN concentrations.

Conclusions: Nitric oxide concentration is elevated in cats with cardiac disease, but the elevation appears to be independent of ATE and CHF.