Objective—To determine whether serum N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentration is useful in discriminating between cardiac and noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes of respiratory signs (ie, coughing, stertor, stridor, excessive panting, increased respiratory effort, tachypnea, or overt respiratory distress) in dogs.
Design—Multicenter cross-sectional study.
Animals—115 dogs with respiratory signs.
Procedures—Dogs with respiratory signs were solicited for study. Physical examination, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography were used to determine whether respiratory signs were the result of cardiac (ie, congestive heart failure) or noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes. Serum samples for NT-proBNP assay were obtained at time of admission for each dog. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were constructed to determine the ability of serum NT-proBNP concentration to discriminate between cardiac and noncardiac causes of respiratory signs.
Results—Serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in dogs with cardiac versus noncardiac causes of respiratory signs. In dogs with primary respiratory tract disease, serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in those with concurrent pulmonary hypertension than in those without. A serum NT-proBNP cutoff concentration > 1,158 pmol/L discriminated between dogs with congestive heart failure and dogs with primary respiratory tract disease with a sensitivity of 85.5% and a specificity of 81.3%.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Measuring serum NT-proBNP concentration in dogs with respiratory signs helps to differentiate between congestive heart failure and primary respiratory tract disease as an underlying cause.