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  • Author or Editor: Katrin Hartmann x
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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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the effect of 6% hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solution, with a molecular weight of 130 kDa and a degree of substitution of 0.42, on canine platelet function in vitro.

Samples—Blood samples from 31 healthy adult dogs.

Procedures—Citrated blood was diluted with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution or HES 130/0.42 in ratios of 1:9 (ie, 1 part saline solution or HES 130/0.42 and 9 parts blood) and 1:3. Platelet plug formation time (closure time [Ct]) was measured with a platelet function analyzer and cartridges coated with collagen and ADP.

Results—Median baseline Ct with citrated blood was 84.0 seconds (interquartile range, 74.5 to 99.5 seconds). Results obtained with 1:9 dilutions with saline solution and HES 130/0.42 were not significantly different from baseline results. The 1:3 dilutions with saline solution and HES 130/0.42 resulted in median Cts of 96.0 seconds (interquartile range, 85.5 to 110.8 seconds) and 112.0 seconds (92.0 to 126.0 seconds), respectively. Results obtained with both 1:3 dilutions were significantly different from baseline results. The Ct obtained with the HES dilution was also significantly different from that of the 1:3 dilution with saline solution.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Saline solution and HES 130/0.42 in a 1:3 dilution affected canine platelet function by prolonging Cts. The HES 130/0.42 had a significantly greater effect on canine platelets than did saline solution.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare cytotoxic effects and antiviral efficacy of 9 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) against FIV in feline peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Sample—Peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from 3 specific pathogen–free cats.

Procedures—3 of the 9 NRTIs had not been previously assessed in feline cell lines. Cytotoxic effects were determined by colorimetric quantification of a formazan product resulting from bioreduction of a tetrazolium reagent by viable peripheral blood mononuclear cells; uninfected cells from 1 cat were used in these assays. Cells from all 3 cats were infected with a pathogenic clone of FIV, and in vitro antiviral efficacy of each NRTI was assessed with an FIV p24 antigen capture ELISA.

Results—Cytotoxic effects in feline peripheral blood mononuclear cells were observed only at concentrations > 10 μM for all 9 NRTIs. Comparison of the cytotoxic effect at the highest concentration investigated (500μM) revealed that didanosine and amdoxovir were significantly less toxic than abacavir. All drugs induced a dose-dependent reduction of FIV replication. At the highest concentration investigated (10μM), there was no significant difference in antiviral efficacy among the test compounds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The evaluated NRTIs had low cytotoxicity against feline peripheral blood mononuclear cells and appeared to be safe options for further in vivo evaluation for the treatment of FIV-infected cats. There was no evidence suggesting that the newly evaluated compounds would be superior to the existing NRTIs for reducing FIV burden of infected cats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize and compare the urine protein content in cats without urinary tract disease and cats with idiopathic cystitis (IdC), bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), or urolithiasis.

Animals—Control cats (n = 18) and cats with IdC (18), UTI (12), and urolithiasis (12) from which urine samples were obtained and 2 cats with obstructive IdC and 4 additional control cats from which postmortem urinary bladder biopsy specimens were obtained.

Procedures—Protein contents in urine samples obtained via cystocentesis or catheterization were measured via the Bradford method. Urine proteins were separated by means of 1-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Evaluation of fibronectin content was performed via western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis. Urinary bladder biopsy specimens were examined histologically and analyzed immunohistochemically for fibronectin.

Results—Urine fibronectin content was significantly greater in cats with IdC, compared with control cat findings. Urine fibronectin contents did not differ significantly among controls and cats with UTI or urolithiasis. Histologic examination of bladder biopsy specimens obtained from 2 cats with obstructive IdC revealed destruction of the urothelial lining of the urinary bladder and severe fibrosis; immunohistochemical analysis revealed few fluorescence signals for fibronectin, unlike findings in control bladder biopsy specimens.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that urine fibronectin content in cats with IdC was greater than that in controls, cats with UTI, or cats with urolithiasis. In cats with IdC, increased permeability of damaged urothelium may result in detachment and leakage of fibronectin into urine. Urine fibronectin might serve as a biomarker for diagnosis of IdC in cats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess the use of measuring anti-coronavirus IgG in CSF for the diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) involving the CNS in cats.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—CSF and serum samples from 67 cats.

Procedures—CSF and serum samples were allocated into 4 groups: cats with FIP involving the CNS (n = 10), cats with FIP not involving the CNS (13), cats with CNS disorders caused by diseases other than FIP (29), and cats with diseases other than FIP and not involving the CNS (15). Cerebrospinal fluid was evaluated for concentrations of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and total protein. Anti-coronavirus IgG was measured in CSF and serum by indirect immunofluorescence assay.

Results—CSF IgG (range of titers, 1:32 to 1:4,096) was detected in 12 cats, including 6 cats with neurologic manifestation of FIP, 4 cats with FIP not involving the CNS, and 2 cats with brain tumors. Cerebrospinal fluid IgG was detected only in cats with correspondingly high serum IgG titers (range, 1:4,096 to 1:16,384) and was positively correlated with serum IgG titers (r = 0.652; P < 0.01), but not with any other CSF parameter. Blood contamination of CSF resulted in ≤ 333 erythrocytes/μL in cats with CSF IgG.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The correlation between serum and CSF IgG and the fact that CSF IgG was detected only in strongly seropositive cats suggested that CSF anti-coronavirus IgG was derived from blood. Measurement of anti-coronavirus IgG in CSF was of equivocal clinical use.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association