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Cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and cardiac troponin T (cTnT) are sensitive and specific markers for myocardial ischemia and necrosis. Dogs with pericardial effusion frequently have myocardial ischemia and necrosis, and these changes are more severe in dogs with hemangiosarcoma (HSA). We investigated the utility of using serum cTnI and cTnT concentrations to identify the idiopathic pericardial effusion from that associated with HSA. Blood samples for measurement of cTnI and cTnT concentrations were collected before pericardiocentesis in 37 dogs with pericardial effusion. Eighteen dogs had a mass consistent with HSA, 6 dogs had idiopathic pericardial effusion, 1 dog had mesothelioma, and 1 dog had a heart base tumor. No final diagnosis was achieved for 11 dogs. Dogs with pericardial effusion had significantly higher serum concentrations of cTnI (P <.001) but not cTnT (P = .16) than did normal dogs. Dogs with HSA had significantly higher concentrations of cTnI (2.77 ng/dL; range: 0.09–47.18 ng/dL) than did dogs with idiopathic pericardial effusion (0.05 ng/dL; range: 0.03-0.09 ng/dL) (P < .001). There was no difference in the concentration of cTnT between dogs with HSA and those with idiopathic pericardial effusion (P = .08). Measurement of cTnI may be useful in helping to distinguish between idiopathic pericardial effusion and pericardial effusion caused by HSA. Key words: Biomarkers; Canine; Hemangiosarcoma; Mesothelioma; Neoplasia.