Objective—To evaluate assessment of circulating amino terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentration as a means to discriminate between congestive heart failure and primary pulmonary disease in dogs.
Design—Prospective case series.
Animals—46 dogs with signs of respiratory distress or coughing.
Procedures—All dogs underwent physical and thoracic radiographic examinations. Dogs with evidence of heart disease (eg, murmur, arrhythmia, or large cardiac silhouette detected by radiography) also underwent echocardiography. Dogs with no evidence of heart disease or failure were included if they underwent bronchoalveolar lavage (with cytologic examination and bacterial culture of the lavage fluid). Blood samples for NT-proBNP assay were obtained within 12 hours of the diagnosis of heart failure or prior to bronchoalveolar lavage in dogs with primary pulmonary disease. Circulating concentrations of NT-proBNP were compared between groups and correlated with radiographic and echocardiographic measures of cardiac size.
Results—Congestive heart failure and primary pulmonary disease were diagnosed in 25 and 21 dogs, respectively. Dogs with congestive heart failure had significantly higher median serum or plasma NT-proBNP concentration (2,554 pmol/L; interquartile [25% to 75%] range, 1,651.5 to 3,475.5 pmol/L) than dogs with primary pulmonary disease (357 pmol/L; interquartile range, 192.5 to 565.5 pmol/L). Radiographic vertebral heart score and echocardiographic left atrial-to-aortic diameter ratio were not correlated with NT-proBNP concentration. Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (measured echocardiographically) and NT-proBNP concentration were weakly correlated.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum or plasma NT-proBNP concentration assessment may be useful for discrimination of congestive heart failure from primary pulmonary disease in dogs with respiratory distress or cough.
Case Description—A 12-week-old female English Springer Spaniel was evaluated for lethargy, vomiting, and pyrexia 1 week after treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) via coil occlusion.
Clinical Findings—Test results were consistent with septicemia, and the assumption was made that the PDA occlusion coils were infected. Radiography revealed partial migration of the coil mass into the pulmonary artery and signs of congestive heart failure.
Treatment and Outcome—After successful treatment of the septicemia and heart failure, surgical removal of the coils and resection of the PDA were undertaken. Although the coil that embolized to the pulmonary vasculature was left in place, the dog's clinical signs resolved.
Clinical Relevance—This case highlights the fact that as PDA coil occlusion devices become more widely used in dogs, practitioners must be prepared to treat implant infections aggressively, with both medical and surgical interventions if necessary.
Case Description—A 13-year-old llama was examined because of lethargy, inappetence, and syncope.
Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed muffled heart and lung sounds and peripheral edema. Clinicopathologic abnormalities included lymphopenia, hyperglycemia, prerenal azotemia, mild hyponatremia, mild hypoalbuminemia, and high γ-glutamyltransferase and creatine kinase activities. On ultrasonography, the liver appeared hyperechoic and ascites and pleural effusion were seen. Echocardiography revealed severe dilatation of the right atrium, right ventricle, and pulmonary artery; severe tricuspid regurgitation; and high right ventricular systolic pressure consistent with right-sided heart failure secondary to pulmonary hypertension.
Treatment and Outcome—Treatment with furosemide was attempted, but because of failing health, the llama was euthanized 4 weeks later. Macronodular cirrhosis of the liver, glomerulonephritis, and intimal fibrosis and medial hypertrophy of muscular pulmonary arteries were seen on histologic examination of postmortem specimens.
Clinical Relevance—Findings in this case were similar to those reported for human patients with portopulmonary hypertension secondary to hepatic cirrhosis. Pulmonary hypertension secondary to hepatic disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis of right-sided heart failure.