OBJECTIVE To evaluate the use of measuring plasma concentrations of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), and cardiac troponin-I (cTnI) 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 cTnI. 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 cTnI 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 cTnI 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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