Objective - To evaluate the use of measuring plasma concentrations of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), and cardiac troponin-I (cTnl) to detect dogs with occult dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Animals - 118 client-owned dogs. Procedures - Dogs were prospectively examined by use of ECG; echocardiography; and evaluation of concentrations of ANP, BNP and cTnl. Occult DCM was diagnosed by evaluation of echocardiographic left ventricular dimensions and detection of ventricular arrhythmias on ECG. Sensitivity and specificity of assays for measurement of plasma concentrations of ANP, BNP and cTnl to detect dogs with occult DCM were determined. Results - Occult DCM was diagnosed in 21 dogs. A concentration of > 6.21 pg/mL for BNP had a sensitivity of 95.2% and specificity of 61.9% for identifying dogs with occult DCM. In contrast, concentrations of ANP and cTnl had relatively low predictive values. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Blood-based screening for occult DCM in dogs can be accomplished by use of a BNP assay. Additional studies should be performed to optimize this method of screening dogs to detect occult DCM.
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