Objective—To determine whether measurement of blood cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations with a cage-side analyzer could be used to differentiate cardiac from noncardiac causes of dyspnea in cats.
Design—Prospective, multicenter study.
Animals—44 client-owned cats with dyspnea and 37 healthy staff-owned cats.
Procedures—Affected cats were examined because of dyspnea; treatment was administered in accordance with the attending clinician's discretion. Cats were judged to have a cardiac or noncardiac cause of dyspnea on the basis of results of physical examination, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography. Blood cTnI concentrations were determined with a cage-side analyzer on samples collected within 12 hours after admission of affected cats. Concentrations for healthy cats were obtained for comparison.
Results—5 enrolled cats were excluded from the study because of concurrent cardiac and respiratory disease. Of the remaining 39 cats with dyspnea, 25 had a cardiac cause and 14 had a noncardiac cause. The 25 cats with a cardiac cause of dyspnea had a significantly higher blood cTnI concentration than did the 37 healthy cats or the 14 cats with a noncardiac cause of dyspnea.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Measurement of cTnI concentrations with a cage-side assay in emergency settings may be useful for differentiating cardiac from noncardiac causes of dyspnea in cats.