• Open Access

Prospective Clinical Evaluation of an ELISA B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Assay in the Diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs Presenting with Cough or Dyspnea



Background:B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is increased in dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF).

Hypothesis:The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of a novel canine-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of BNP for the diagnosis of CHF in dogs presenting with either cough or dyspnea.

Animals:Three hundred and thirty dogs from 2 large university teaching hospitals.

Methods:We prospectively measured plasma BNP concentrations in 3 groups of dogs: (1) normal adult dogs (n = 75), (2) dogs with asymptomatic heart disease (n = 76), and (3) dogs with cough or dyspnea (n = 179). The final diagnosis of dogs with cough or dyspnea and the severity of CHF (International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council Heart Failure Classification [ISACHC]) were determined by medical record review by a study cardiologist who was blinded to the results of the BNP assay.

Results:Dogs with CHF had a higher median BNP concentration (24.6 pg/mL) than dogs with noncardiac causes of cough or dyspnea (2.6 pg/mL) (P < .0001). The area under the curve was 0.91 for the receiver operating curve analysis of the diagnostic accuracy of the BNP measurement to differentiate CHF from other causes of cough or dyspnea. The median BNP concentrations in dogs were 3.0 pg/mL with ISACHC I, 17.8 pg/mL with ISACHC II, and 30.5 pg/mL with ISACHC III. (P < .0001)

Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Measurement of BNP is useful in establishing or in excluding the diagnosis of CHF in dogs with cough or dyspnea. B-type natriuretic peptide concentrations rose significantly as a function of severity of CHF.