There is no agreement in current publications regarding the reliability of serum concentrations of natriuretic peptides (NPs) to detect dogs with subclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) and to differentiate between asymptomatic stages.
We sought to compare N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and pro-atrial natriuretic peptide 31-67 (proANP) concentrations between various stages of canine MMVD and to investigate the influence of age, weight, and sex.
In this prospective study, dogs were classified in different disease stages using the modified Canine Heart failure International Expert Forum (CHIEF) system. Serum NP concentrations were compared between groups.
A total of 559 samples from 116 healthy dogs and 236 dogs with MMVD were analyzed. Using cut-off values (1207 pmol/L for NT-proBNP, 1578 fmol/mL for proANP), dogs with MMVD with and without congestive heart failure (CHF) could be differentiated with a sensitivity of 83% for both and specificities of 85% and 86%, respectively. Dogs staged in CHIEF B1 and B2 could not be distinguished based on NP concentrations due to wide variation within the groups. Intact females (means 598 pmol/L and 1036 fmol/mL, respectively) had significantly higher values of both NPs than intact males (315 pmol/L and 836 fmol/mL).
NPs in canine MMVD are useful to discriminate between asymptomatic dogs and dogs with CHF. Due to a large overlap of NP-concentrations between the groups, NPs do not seem to be useful to differentiate between dogs in stages B1 and B2. Interpretation of NT-proBNP and proANP values should include consideration of sex-specific differences.