Background: Circulating natriuretic peptide concentrations are increased in cats with myocardial dysfunction.
Hypothesis: Serum N-terminal fragment of proatrial natriuretic peptide (NT-proANP) and NT-probrain natriuretic peptide (proBNP) concentrations may predict the presence of heart disease (HD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). A positive relationship is also predicted among natriuretic peptide (NP) concentrations, a noninvasive estimate of left ventricular filling pressure (E/Ea), and an echocardiographic measure of left atrial (LA) size (LA/aortic diameter [Ao]).
Methods: Serum NP concentrations were measured in 28 healthy control and 50 study cats using sandwich enzyme immunoassays. The study group comprised cats, with HD but no CHF (HD − CHF, n = 17) and cats with CHF (HD + CHF, n = 33). The relationship among NP concentrations, LA size, and E/Ea was examined. The ability of NP to distinguish control from study cats, and HD − CHF from HD + CHF cats, was explored using receiver operator curve analysis.
Results: NP concentrations were significantly lower in control than in study cats (P= .0001). The NT-proBNP concentrations were positively correlated with LA/Ao ratio (ρ= 0.34; P= .02) and with E/Ea ratio (ρ= 0.68; P < .05). An NT-proBNP concentration of 49 fmol/mL gave a sensitivity and specificity of 100 and 89.3%, respectively, for correctly distinguishing 96.2% of control from study cats. Pairwise comparisons of the areas under the curve identified a statistically significant difference (P= .011) between NT-proANP and NT-proBNP to distinguish control from study cats. NT-proANP and NT-proBNP concentrations were significantly higher in HD + CHF cats than in HD − CHF cats (P= .0023 and .0001, respectively).
Conclusions: Serum concentrations of NT-proANP and particularly NT-proBNP were different in healthy control cats, asymptomatic cats with HD, and cats with CHF, suggesting that measurement of NP concentrations may prove clinically useful as an initial screening test for cats with suspected cardiac disease.