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Objective—To evaluate the diagnostic value of plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentrations in Doberman Pinschers in various stages of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Animals—328 Doberman Pinschers.

Procedures—Staging of DCM was determined via analysis of results of physical examinations, 24-hour ambulatory ECG (Holter) recordings, and echocardiographic evaluations. Plasma samples for NT-proBNP assays were obtained at each examination. Concentrations of NT-proBNP were measured in 337 samples obtained from 196 healthy Doberman Pinschers (control dogs) and in 195 samples obtained from 132 Doberman Pinschers in various stages of DCM. These included dogs that had ventricular premature contractions (VPCs; 79 samples), echocardiographic changes (23 samples), or both (51 samples); 16 samples were from dogs with overt DCM, and 26 were from dogs that were considered normal during initial examination but developed DCM within 1.5 years after this assessment. Receiver operating characteristic curves were analyzed to determine sensitivity and specificity of NT-proBNP concentrations for detection of DCM.

Results—NT-proBNP concentrations in dogs that had or developed DCM were significantly higher than those of control dogs. Sensitivity and specificity of NT-proBNP concentrations (cutoff value, > 400 pmol/L) to detect all stages of DCM were 81.1 % and 75.0%, respectively; sensitivity was 90.0% and specificity was 75.0% to predict echocardiographic changes. Specificity to detect echocardiographic changes was 90.4% at a cutoff value of 550 pmol/L.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Plasma concentrations of NT-proBNP were increased in dogs with DCM and in apparently healthy dogs that developed DCM within 1.5 years after samples were obtained, compared with concentrations in control dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research