• acute respiratory distress;
  • canine;
  • valvular disease


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of circulating detectable serum levels of cardiac troponin I (CTnI) and circulating detectable serum levels of cardiac troponin T (CTnT) in dogs with class IV congestive heart failure (CHF) due to mitral valve disease (MVD) at admission. An additional study aim was to determine if detectable troponin levels correlated with the magnitude of several clinical parameters.

Design: Prospective clinical investigation.

Setting: Small animal emergency and critical care referral hospital.

Interventions: Blood was collected before emergency treatment from 15 dogs presenting in class IV CHF due to MVD.

Measurements: Serum concentrations of CTnI, CTnT at presentation.

Main results: Six dogs (40%) had a detectable CTnI (median 0.24, range 0.12–0.31 ng/mL), and the remainder were less than 0.1 ng/mL and deemed non-detectable. The one dog (7%) that had a detectable CTnT (0.02 ng/mL) also had a detectable CTnI (0.23 ng/mL). There was no statistical difference in survival to discharge between dogs with non-detectable troponin levels and those with detectable troponin levels; however, dogs with detectable troponin levels had shorter overall survival times. Dogs with a detectable level of CTnI had a median survival of 67.5 days (range 1–390 days), and dogs with a non-detectable level of CTnI had a median survival time of 390 days (range 20–912 days) (P=0.02).

Conclusion: This study suggests that CTnI can be detected at admission in the blood of 40% of dogs with class IV CHF due to MVD. Dogs with non-detectable levels of cardiac troponins had a significantly longer overall survival time. The encouraging results of this small pilot study warrant further investigation.