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Investigation into the use of plasma NT-proBNP concentration to screen for feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

  • Author(s): Hsu, Adonia
  • Kittleson, Mark D
  • Paling, Anna
  • et al.

To evaluate the utility of feline NT-proBNP plasma concentration [NT-proBNP] as a screening tool for cats with subclinical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Forty adult Maine Coon or Maine Coon crossbred cats from the feline HCM research colony at the University of California, Davis were studied. All cats had previously been genotyped as heterozygous or negative for the A31P myosin binding protein C (MYBPC) mutation. Echocardiograms were performed to assess the severity of HCM in each cat. Blood samples were collected for evaluation of [NT-proBNP].

In these cats with severe HCM, [NT-proBNP] was significantly elevated (P<0.0001) when compared to all other groups of cats and an [NT-proBNP]>44pmol/L accurately predicted the presence of severe HCM. However, [NT-proBNP] was not increased in cats with moderate or equivocal HCM when compared to normal cats. Cats heterozygous for the MYBPC mutation had a significantly elevated [NT-proBNP] when compared to cats without the A31P mutation (P=0.028).

Measurement of [NT-proBNP] has a high sensitivity and specificity as a means of detecting severe HCM in cats, but it is not sensitive for the identification of moderate HCM as judged by the evaluation of Maine Coon and Maine Coon cross cats in our colony. Consequently, we conclude that this test cannot be used to screen cats for the presence of mild to moderate HCM.

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